3D Printing Saves a Woman’s Kidney and Her Life

A woman from China has 3D printing technology and her doctors’ ingenuity to thank for her life and her kidney.

The woman had been diagnosed with a renal tumor right next to major blood vessels.

With the location so close to veins and arteries, surgeons usually have to remove the entire organ.

However, doctors at Xiangya Hospital of Urology, Central South University in China, had a plan.

Using CT scans of the woman’s diseased kidney, they printed out 3D replicas of the organ including the tumor and arteries, allowing the doctors to try out various techniques on the models first.

After mapping out the exact location of her renal artery and how the smaller vessels branched off, the doctors were able to devise a plan to safely remove the tumor.

After only a 90-minute procedure, the woman’s kidney was spared and the tumor removed with only minimal blood loss.

The Chinese surgical team now plans to try out their 3D printing technique to help guide them during other risky surgeries.

Photo Credit: 3D Print