The Hospital for Sick Children

Becoming a surgeon takes years of practice. Becoming a pediatric heart surgeon takes even more. Surgical training begins with a new surgeon looking over the shoulder of a practicing surgeon before moving on to practice on cadavers or animals. Though hands-on, these training scenarios are often imperfect due to lack of complex pathology, expense and repeatability. Nevertheless, the importance of surgical practice cannot be underestimated. In fact, Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, head of cardiovascular surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), in Toronto cites a direct correlation between volume of practice and outcomes in difficult surgeries.


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Dr. Van Arsdell working with surgeons-in-training on a simulated cardiac procedure.

“These 3D printed models have tremendous value in developing surgeons’ skills...students agreed the 3D printed heart models were tremendously helpful for them.”

Dr. Shi-Joon Yoo, head, pediatric cardiac imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children