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3D-printed organs are saving cancer patient's lives

6/27/2016, Milan Šurkala
3D print technology can be used almost everywhere. For example, it was used to print patient's kidney to prepare the difficult surgery few weeks ago. Because of that, doctors were able to perform surgery without any complications.
In last months, we can see that 3D printing technology can be used for many different purposes. For example, it is very interesting to see 3D organs in medicine. Linda Green, the cancer patient, had a tumor on her kidney that was relatively stable for a long time but it started to grow in recent months. Therefore, the surgery was necessary.
3D-printed kidney
If the tumor is on some edge of the kidney, the surgery can be quite simple but it was not this case. The tumor was on the top of her kidney very close to arteries, veins and the drainage system. Dr. Jay Bishoff and his team of doctors at Intermountain Medical Center made a CT scan and let the 3D printer at Intermountain Transformation Lab to print a 3D model of the patient's kidney.
Even though it was not the first 3D-printed kidney, it was the first 3D-printed kideny that was used to help doctors and to prepare the surgery. As you can see on the picture, veins have blue colors, the tumor is black and very close to them. Because of the model, the doctors could prepare the surgery much better and discovered some properties of the tumor that were not visible on CT scans. Therefore, the transparent model of the kidney was used when they performed the surgery and allowed the doctors to see what is inside. It also help to shorten time of the surgery and the bleeding was minimal.
Linda Green has almost intact kidney without the tumor now and was released from hospital the following day. She was also given the model of her kidney at a press conference with the doctors.