Original Post on: https://3dprintingindustry.com
By: Tia Vialva
Surgeons at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, have worked with Stratasys’ 3D printing to support the first successful larger-than-average adult kidney
transplantation from father to son.
The high-risk procedure was performed with the help of two, true-to-life, 3D printed models, which proved vital to surgical preparation.
The case of Dexter Clark
Two-year-old Dexter Clark was born with severe kidney problems which made him incapable of naturally consuming food. Realizing his need for a transplant, surgeons at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ identified his father as a possible donor. The problem was, however, how to transplant the father’s adult-sized kidney into Dexter’s small frame.
Rather than using conventional medical imaging for the pre-surgical planning stage, surgeons opted for multi-material 3D printing to provide them with tactile accuracy.
3D models in medicine
Pankaj Chandak is Transplant Registrar at Guy’s and St. Thomas. According to Chandak, 3D printed models were vital in the success of Dexter Clark’s surgery.
“The ability to print a 3D model of the patient’s anatomy in varying textures, with the intricacies of the blood vessels clearly visible within it, enables us to differentiate critical anatomical relations between structures,” he explained.
“The flexible materials also allowed us to better mimic the flexibility of organs within the abdomen for simulation of the surgical environment.”
Due to the intricacies of the 3D printed models, surgical exploration is also reduced as the optimal surgical approach is predetermined.
“This is a clear demonstration of the ability for 3D printing to enable physicians to better plan, practice and determine the optimal surgical approach,” added Michael Gaisford, Director of Marketing for Stratasys Healthcare Solutions.