3D technology used in heart operation

Surgeons at King’s College Hospital have used 3D technology for the first time to perform a specialist type of keyhole heart surgery.3D Heart

Bruce Fancourt, 62, from Hythe in Kent, underwent the procedure in February to bypass an artery which had become 96% blocked. He is now fit and well.

The procedure involved cardiothoracic surgeon Mr Ranjit Deshpande and his team re-routing blood flow to Mr Fancourt’s heart by attaching a new blood vessel (graft) beyond the block in his left coronary artery.

Surgeons are used to carrying this operation out via a small incision in the patient’s chest, removing the need for open heart surgery. However, this makes visualisation of the patient’s anatomy much more challenging.

The introduction of 3D technology for the operation at King’s College Hospital enables surgeons to visualise the patient’s whole anatomy, making the operation easier and quicker. 3D images for the surgeon are made possible thanks to the insertion of a small camera during surgery.

Mr Deshpande said:

3D technology means we still perform keyhole surgery, with all the same benefits for the patient, but in such a way that we can visualise the patient’s anatomy as if we were doing open heart surgery. This is a major step forward, and I am confident more patients like Mr Fancourt will benefit in the future.

King’s College Hospital is a major regional centre for cardiac surgery, and treats thousands of patients each year.