Gina Milner needed a new heart valve, and her doctors hoped to perform a minimally invasive procedure rather than open-heart surgery. But because Milner had had a heart defect repaired in childhood, her anatomy was complex. It was difficult to plan her surgery using standard imaging.
So Milner became the first patient at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to benefit from software that turned her CT scans into a 3-D image. “We were able to tell that we would have enough space to work with,” says clinical associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery Katsuhide Maeda, MD, who performed the less-invasive surgery. Virtual-reality technologies, he says, “have big advantages for our patients.”