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3D Printed Heart Model Helps Change Prognosis for 5-Year-Old Mia



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Five-year-old Mia Gonzalez suffered from a rare heart malformation known as double aortic arch, causing her serious breathing problems. Often misdiagnosed as asthma, this serious condition requires a complex surgical procedure.

Dr. Redmond Burke, Director of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and his team perfected her surgery before entering the operating room by 3D printing a model of her heart based on her MRI scan.

"My team could visualize the operation before we started. We knew the safest approach, and confidently made a smaller incision."
— Dr. Redmond Burke, Nicklaus Children's Hospital

Using Stratasys solutions, the hospital created an anatomically precise 3D model of Mia’s heart, directly from her CT scan. With the model, Burke and his team were able to figure out which part of her arch should be divided to achieve the best physiological result.


"Without a 3D printed model, I might not have been able to figure out the repair method that I used, and I’m not sure if the operation would have been successful," Burke said.

– Dr. Redmond Burke: 

  • Patient with complex vascular ring
  • Reduced intervention with smaller incision
  • Shorter procedure (est. 2 hours)
  • Accelerated recovery

Watch this emotional video to see how Mia's family and her surgical team leverage Stratasys 3D printing to give her a new lease on life.


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