3D printing saves baby life
The 3D printer has proven to be a great ally of medicine and recently doctors have discovered another amazing benefit of this new technology!
During the gestation of Caitlin Veitz doctors discovered that their baby, Kieran Veitz, had ectopia cordis, a rare condition in which the heart develops outside the chest. "We had no idea anything like this could have happened, it was very scary," Caitilin told EveryDay Health.
The baby's survival would require extremely complex surgery. And the biggest problem of the experts who would perform this procedure was to understand where exactly the defect was. The 3D printer was crucial to solving this issue. The experts made a 3D impression of Kieran still in the belly.
So they discovered that beyond the heart, the baby also had the intestine and liver out of the body. This finding has changed all plans of the medical team. It was decided that it would not be possible to solve everything in a single procedure because the baby would be put under a lot of stress and the priority was the heart. 16 doctors and nurses from 12 different teams participated in the surgery of the little Kieran. The procedure started with a partial cesarean section with the baby still connected to the mother through the umbilical cord. After five hours, the umbilical cord was cut and Kieran had his heart in his body.
After five months, Kieran was discharged from the pediatric ICU and by six months already had a development equal to that of any other healthy baby. More surgeries will still be needed, but doctors believe Kieran is on the right track! "The possibilities for it have no end," Caitilin concluded in an interview with EveryDay Health.
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