The doctors at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi has successfully reconstructed the breastbone that helps protect the heart, lungs and major blood vessels from injury, that was missing in a nine-months-old girl using 3D technology.
Her family came to Kochi three months ago for the child’s treatment. Paediatric cardiologists and surgeons studied it as it was a rare case.
“With no bone covering the front of the chest, we could see her heart beating. She appeared so fragile that we were scared to even put her down, lest she hurts herself. We were even scared to bathe her,” said baby’s mother.
“To understand the complex anomaly, a CT scan was done and a 3D printing of the inside of the child’s body was made. This gave us a clearer picture and we were confident that the child could be treated,” said paediatric cardiologist Dr Mahesh. The doctors have developed a virtual 3D model of the child’s chest wall. Then they printed the ribs also so that surgeons could understand the exact size of the rib needed to be fixed in the body.
Before performing the surgery on the child, they performed surgery several times on the 3D model. In the 20-cm chest wall, the defect was on a 5-cm area,” said senior plastic surgeon Dr Sundeep Prabhakaran.
The doctors claim this is probably the first time that 3D printing was used to perform such surgery in India. The child’s condition is improving and she will be discharged soon. The baby’s neck is still wide as the collarbone has not developed and she has a small hole in the heart. But at the moment she doesn’t need any medication or surgery. If need be, it can be done later according to doctors.
The family needed Rs 3 lakh for the surgery, which was collected with the help of Child Health Foundation and through crowdfunding. The surgery was successfully performed on July 25.

Source: Times Of India.