3D Hearts: A Road Map

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on February 12, 2019

Our hearts are machines that can develop "mechanical problems” in the valves that keep our blood flowing. 
 
“For all of our complex valve patients where we are putting in some sort of stent and valve we do very, very, high-resolution, high-quality cat scans on these patients,” explained Jason Foerst, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Carilion Clinic’s Structural Heart and Valve Center.
 
The digital image helped prepare Dr. Foerst for Pat Williamson’s complex transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR procedure.
 
“It allows us to not only do some more sophisticated measurements, but it also gives us some more visual spacial identification of challenges with the anatomy we may encounter when putting artificial valves in place,” said Dr. Foerst. 
 
And Dr. Foerst’s team has worked with Virginia Tech to create 3D printed hearts that provide a tangible replica of a patient’s heart.
 
“Having that up front 3D model helps us plan for these procedures,” added Dr. Foerst.
 
An extra step that allows us to provide a “personalized” medical approach for patients.