3D machine gives a look inside your heart

3D machine gives look inside your heart

DALLAS -- WFAA first met little Alex one month ago, just hours after he received a full heart transplant. What a difference a month makes.

"We are so ready to get out of here. We've been in the hospital since July 12th, and he's going so fast, he's ready to go home right now," said Alex's mom, Karin Busby. 

Alex's transplant was performed by a team of doctors at Children's Medical Center Dallas. It saved his life.

"Two months ago, he was on death's door, and now he's got a full life ahead of him and I'm so grateful," Busby said.

While they recover -- just a few floors away, the hospital is showing off the latest in technology that could soon change how the medical community looks at procedures like this one.

Dr. Aashoo Tandon, a pediatric cardiologist, wears a pair of virtual reality goggles.

"We can grab the aorta and really pinpoint the area of coarctation, which is right here," said Tandon,  while manipulating the image in front of him.

It's the first of its kind technology. A patient's CT and MRI images are stitched together to create a stunning virtual model.

"The idea of this is that we can use that patient's actual data to come up with the pictures that describe what that patient looks like," Tandon said.  

It's all part of a national study that will aim to prove the effectiveness of this technology.

"These are all complicated three-dimensional structures. Traditionally, we've looked at them with two-dimensional drawings. I'm no artist, so usually my drawings come out pretty terrible," Tandon said.

Technology that could perhaps be most effective in the smallest patients. And hopefully, it is technology that little Alex will never have to use himself.

"I can dream for him. We started a college fund -- that's something that we never thought we would need. We thought we needed a funeral fund," Busby said.

Although it's only been a month since his surgery, Busby and Alex are ready to put it behind them. 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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