In addition to its many other benefits, Medical 3D Printing has revolutionized how the pathology of a disease can be visualized. In a growing number of hospitals worldwide, it has earned its rightful place as standard procedure, for instance, in the placement of standard knee implants or in using cardiovascular models for preparing congenital heart defects surgery.
For the first time ever, surgeons at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have been able to transplant an adult kidney into a two-year-old child, using 3D Printing to achieve this complex surgery.
Michael Slag was suffering from a growing Pancoast tumor, a rare type of lung cancer. As it intertwined with several critical nerves and blood vessels, surgical tumor resection was complicated as the functioning of his arm could be damaged. To reduce this risk and keep the intervention minimally-invasive, the surgical team at Mayo Clinic used Materialise Mimics software to convert the MRI and CT scans to a 3D-printable model of the tumor and the surrounding tissue and ribs. On the model they could observe exactly how the tumor was wrapped around several of Michael’s critical nerves and blood vessels.
37-year-old Sneha Cipriano discovered she had a large renal artery aneurysm located near the back of her right kidney. This type of aneurysm is extremely rare and is usually found in young women who have had multiple pregnancies. As large aneurysms are more in danger of rupturing, and as a ruptured aneurysm can be life-threatening, it was important to repair it with a surgical graft as soon as possible. However, the position of the aneurysm on the split of the renal artery meant that operating on it with minimal risk would be quite difficult.
A 47-year-old woman in West Palm Beach, Florida, needed to undergo a nephrectomy to remove a renal mass. The urologist working on her case requested a 3D-printed model of the patient’s kidney to better understand the mass anatomy with respect to the renal hilum.