3D Printing Ensures Success for Complex Kidney Transplant

January 26, 2018

3D Printing a Model of a Kidney Help Surgeons

Recently, medical doctors in the United Kingdom used 3D printing to create a model of a kidney to help prepare for a complex kidney transplant. Pauline Fenton, 22-year old mother from Belfast, UK, was suffering from end-stage kidney disease. Desperately in need of a kidney transplant, her father William, 45, was a willing donor. However, two problems arose. One was that the blood group was incompatible. The other was that a CT scan revealed a potentially cancerous cyst on the kidney William planned to donate. What was already a complicated transplant became even more intricate. The cyst would need to be removed before the transplant, and timing was of the essence. The medical team hired axial3D to use the scan to create a 3D replica of William’s kidney. Using the 3D printed kidney, surgery team practiced the cyst removal procedure. After rehearsing the removal of the cyst and the procedure, the doctors successfully completed the kidney transplant. Fenton is now in recovery and is reported to be healing well.

 3D Printing Improves Surgery

3D printing replicas of diseased organs allow doctors to plan and rehearse surgery precisely. By using 3D printing to create an exact replica of William’s kidney, the Belfast City Hospital surgeon team were able to know the exact size and placement of the cyst. This knowledge cannot be derived from standard pre-operative imaging. Consultant Transplant Surgeon Tim Brown explained that the 3D model allowed him to plan the surgery in detail. Using the model, he considered the best approach and anticipated potential problems before operating. The model helped reduce operating time, and more precision potentially also will help reduce patient recovery time.

Advancing Surgical Education

Partnering innovative technology and the medical community has great potential to enhance healthcare. David Crawford, the founder of axial3D, believes that 3D printing is the best and most innovative solution to help medical teams plan complex procedures, saying it “offers an exciting opportunity for hospitals to reduce costs, elevate care, and most importantly, improve patient outcomes.” Belfast City Hosptial signed a contract with axial3D, suggesting collaboration in the future.  We are excited to see how 3D printing will benefit the medical next!

How can your medical team benefit from 3D printing?

For your 3D scanning and 3D printing needs, call Arrival 3D at 866-687-7784.

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