Robert Wesley, Biomedical Engineer-Research, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Costs associated with the implementation of 3D modeling should be justified by improvements in patient outcomes and communication within healthcare. Institutional assessment of 52 models printed from 38 patients yielded a median time allocation for the physical printing of models of 6.6 hours with a median total material cost of $106. Postulated benefits include increased diagnostic accuracy, decreased procedural times, decreased morbidity and cost, and improved education of providers and patients. In our experience, physician testimony supports the utility of these models in improved understanding of complex anatomy and procedural planning. 3D modeling and printing are uniquely suited to aid in the management of complex congenital heart defects through the production of patient specific models.