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3D-printed kidney model allows surgeons to successfully transplant adult kidney into two-year-old  


Surgeons at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust used technology from Medilink member Materialise to transplant an adult kidney into a two-year-old child.

Two-year-old Lucy Boucher was the victim of supraventricular tachycardia as a baby, which resulted in heart failure, which in turn caused a kidney failure. The outlook was bleak: She looked set to spend the rest of her life undergoing dialysis treatment.

The surgeons at Guy’s and St. Thomas suggested a new possibility: that Lucy’s father could replace his daughter’s kidneys with one of his own. But this posed the problem of fitting an adult-sized kidney into the abdomen of a small child.

Lucy’s abdomen was scanned and segmented into Materialise Mimics®, and recreated in 3D. The models were crucial in giving the surgeons a clear idea of how to do the surgery before even making the first cut.

As Dr. Pankaj Chandak states, “The most important benefit is to patient safety. The 3D-printed models allow informative, hands-on planning, ahead of the surgery with replicas that are the next best thing to the actual organs themselves. This means surgeons are better placed than before to prepare for the operation and to assess what surgical approach will offer the greatest chance of a safe and successful transplant.”

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