Doctors Use A 3D Printer To Help With Complicated Heart Surgery On A 4-Year-Old Girl

There is no denying the leaps and bounds 3D printers have come since their inception. Initially, it seemed the ‘nerd’ potential was huge, but far more good has been done than anyone could have expected. From reducing the cost for artificial limbs to saving someone’s eyesight, the potential for 3D printers to change and better the world is limitless.

Take the above video as a perfect example of how far-reaching this tech really is. From Yahoo:

Cardiovascular surgeons at Miami Children’s Hospital turned to 3D printing to print out a scale replica of a 4-year-old girl’s heart so they could plan for a complicated surgery to save the girl’s life. She suffers from a congenital condition called total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC), which basically means her veins pump blood to the wrong part of her heart, causing breathing difficulties, lethargy, and a weakened immune system.

At a loss, the doctor’s were unsure what to do next. Then it dawned on one of them that 3D printers may contain the solution:

Using the 3D-printed model, the doctors were able to plan a surgery that hadn’t been performed before using parts from a donor heart, and today young Adanelie Gonzalez’s blood is flowing normally and she’s recovering in the hospital.

Flash forward, one little girl now gets to live a full and healthy life because of the awesomeness of the 3D printer and some quick-thinking doctors. Worth noting is the fact that we are still in the earliest stages of 3D printing. It’s mind-blowing to try to imagine what will come of this technology over the next decade.

Story Via Yahoo, H/T to TheMarySue