A recent segment on local ABC affiliate KGO-TV examined how Stanford cardiologist Paul Wang, MD, and colleagues are using a new technique to create three-dimensional models of the heart. In the above video, Wang discusses the process for printing the replica organs and how the technology could be used to aid surgeons:
Wang says the models are so accurate that surgeons could potentially scale and fit devices ranging from catheters to coronary stents to the precise dimensions of an individual's heart. The technology could allow doctors to test different surgical strategies in advance, before a patient ever enters the operating room.
"There's a lot of different ways we could do it," he explains. "We can have different tools that deliver new valves and other devices to different parts of the heart. They're all different approaches that we're going to see an explosion of in the future."