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SSM Health Medical Minute: 3D Printing Center improving outcomes for children

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SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital now has its own 3D printing center. After multiple generous donations to the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, the 3-D Printing Center of Excellence at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon broke ground in January of 2017.

The center, with a mission to improve the medical and surgical care of children through advanced 3-D technologies, is led by surgical director and co-founder Alexander Lin, MD, and medical director and co-founder Wilson King, MD, a SLUCare cardiologist. Since its inception, the center has produced 3D anatomical models of hearts, jaws, skulls, blood vessels, brains, tumors and kidneys.

The turnaround is in hours, rather than weeks or days, as it had been in the past using an outside printer. In pediatric surgery, kids heal quickly, for example after trauma, and therefore interventions must happen sooner; otherwise kids may heal incorrectly. The ability to have quick in-house 3D-printing turnaround like this can make a big difference. It can make the surgery faster and safer for kids, and help explain the medical complexities to both parents and the patient.

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