OBJECTIVES: Mitral valve repair performed by an experienced surgeon is superior to mitral valve replacement for degenerative mitral valve disease; however, many surgeons are still deterred from adapting this procedure because of a steep learning curve. Simulation-based training and planning could improve the surgical performance and reduce the learning curve. The aim of this study was to develop a patient-specific simulation for mitral valve repair and provide a proof of concept of personalized medicine in a patient prospectively planned for mitral valve surgery.
METHODS: A 65-year old male with severe symptomatic mitral valve regurgitation was referred to our mitral valve heart team. On the basis of three-dimensional (3D) transoesophageal echocardiography and computed tomography, 3D reconstructions of the patient's anatomy were constructed. By navigating through these reconstructions, the repair options and surgical access were chosen (minimally invasive repair). Using rapid prototyping and negative mould fabrication, we developed a process to cast a patient-specific mitral valve silicone replica for preoperative repair in a high-fidelity simulator.
RESULTS: Mitral valve and negative mould were printed in systole to capture the pathology when the valve closes. A patient-specific mitral valve silicone replica was casted and mounted in the simulator. All repair techniques could be performed in the simulator to choose the best repair strategy. As the valve was printed in systole, no special testing other than adjusting the coaptation area was required. Subsequently, the patient was operated, mitral valve pathology was validated and repair was successfully done as in the simulation.
CONCLUSIONS: The patient-specific simulation and planning could be applied for surgical training, starting the (minimally invasive) mitral valve repair programme, planning of complex cases and the evaluation of new interventional techniques. The personalized medicine could be a possible pathway towards enhancing reproducibility, patient's safety and effectiveness of a complex surgical procedure.
- Mitral valve repair
- Minimally invasive
- Rapid prototyping
- Preoperative planning