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New Tool Shows 3-D Image of Heart

New Tool Shows 3-D Image of Heart

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There's a new tool that is helping doctors get a better look at what's going on inside the heart.

"This is the mitral valve. Now, this is the 3-D mode and so you can look at it when we turn to the side you can see the flap of the valve closing and opening and closing.”

If you could see what Dr. Lang is seeing, you’d be watching the latest in medical technology -- a three-dimensional live view inside the heart.

When Cyrus Master, a PhD student in electrical engineering started having irregular heart beats, his doctors wanted to take a closer look.

Stanford cardiologist doctor David Liang says the 3-D imaging helps cardiologists get a precise view of the heart in action. Dr. David Liang, MD. Ph.D., Stanford Cardiologist: "We’re pretty good already with regular two dimensional cardiography, but for two dimensional cardiography we take the slices of the heart and we put it together in our heads. And we’re right 90-95% of the time but were not perfect. I'm betting this technology will get us to 100%."

The 3-D view helps surgeons plan for delicate procedures, letting them see the anatomy like never before.

"Because we can actually see the heart moving in its normal physicologic condition, in its normal sort of live condition. Where a surgeon sees it after it’s been stopped and it’s been deflated. Now he gets to see how it functions normally without the blood without anything interfering"

And that first hand view can do a lot to help patients understand their condition.

Cyrus Master, Stanford Ph.D. Student: "In terms of just being able to see and actually see the structure of your heart and see it in motion and dynamically its really amazing."

Dr. Kim says this 3-D technology could some day be right at home in the operating room helping surgeons fine tune their procedures even more.

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