By Michael O'Riordan via Medscape
Australian physicians are taking advantage of 3D printing to create an exact replica of the patient's cardiac anatomy when planning left atrial appendage (LAA) closure procedures with the Watchman (Boston Scientific) device.
The researchers say that 3D printing is useful when closing the LAA with the Watchman, particularly in patients where "the anatomy is complex and the interaction between the device and the appendage is difficult to quantify, even using advanced imaging methods."
Speaking with heartwire from Medscape, lead investigator Dr James Otton (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney, Australia) said percutaneous LAA-occlusion procedures with the Watchman, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2015, are performed under fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). In addition, multidetector computed tomography (CT) helps provide a 3D image of the heart.