- Kidney cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in
both men and women
- 3D organ printing technology is the next step in
- Doctors at Intermountain Medical Center used 3D
printing technology to save a patient's organ during complicated
A team of doctors and
researchers from Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake city worked together
to save a woman's kidney during a complicated tumor removal surgery using 3D
printing technology. The 3D printed kidney helped them view some vital details
and structures involved, thereby plan the surgery to maneuver around the
sensitive structures. It also enabled them to rehearse the surgery prior to the
Remove the Kidney? - The Big Question
have become very common in both men and women. As most of these tumors are entangled between the vital structures like arteries, veins and the filtering apparatus of the kidney, the only way to remove the tumor is to remove the complete kidney due to risks involved in operating around the crucial areas.
‘With the help of 3D printed kidney, doctors at Intermountain Medical Center were able to save the kidney while removing a complicated kidney tumor from a woman.’
One such tumor was
detected in a patient named Linda Green, where the tumor was found to be
involving the arteries, veins and the ureter. The tumor was detected 8 yrs ago and she was warned about the need for cancer surgery which included
removal of the kidney if the tumor grows.
Almost 8yrs the doctors
decided not to operate and remove the tumor as the renal function was normal
and there was no activity in the tumor mass. But the latest images taken in the
month of March during a routine follow-up showed that the tumor
had doubled its size.
Since Green anticipated
the removal of the kidney ever since when she was diagnosed with renal cancer
her imaging report made her wait for the same
news from the doctors. But the doctors at Intermountain Medical Center
had a better idea.
3D Printing Can Visualize Nonvisualized Details in
transformation lab had state of the art 3D printing lab. This one of a kind lab
had the facility to use the scan images from a patient and make a 3D model of
the organ showing up to even the smallest details.
Jay Bishoff, Director of
Intermountain Medical Center Urological Institute along with radiologist
Talmage Shill,† studied the patient's
computed tomography scan completely. With the help of Transformation Lab
specialists, Cory Smith (senior project manager) and Billy Prows they were able
to 3D print the kidney along with the tumor using the CT scan images.
They were able to print
the 3D model into 2 halves so that Jay Bishoff and his team could study the
exact position and size of the tumor and the adjacent structure involved with
the tumor. These details enabled him to find a small nub of tumor projecting
into the pocket where the kidney collects the urine. This small portion of the
tumor was not visible in the initial scan images. It also helped him determine
the best way to remove the tumor, which was amidst the major artery and vein.
"It's important to
try to save kidneys in people every chance we can," Bishoff said. "Without
the 3-D model, the visual images of the CT scans would not have allowed us to
identify this nub prior to the surgery," he added. He used this model to study
and prepare for the surgery. He was also able to explain to the
patient how complicated the tumor is and the complexities involved in removing
the tumor due to the vitality of its location.
"Dr. Bishoff was
fully intent on saving my kidney, which he did and I appreciate that,"
Linda Green said. This 3D model of Green's kidney was also used
intraoperatively for reference.
multidisciplinary team approach, Dr. Bishoff was able to remove the tumor
without any complication and was also able to save the kidney.
3D Organ Printing - Reimaging the Image
"We're giving doctors
additional visual tools to see the anatomy in a different way," Smith said. "In
the transformation lab we talk about reimagining imaging ó it's the evolution
of imaging." Intermountain transformation laboratory is one of the leading labs
which puts together the latest technologies and help advance in healthcare
Jay Bishoff, Director of the Intermountain Urological Institute, stated that though these 3D printing
will be very helpful in only very few complicated cases, it is a big step forward and further development could be used to improve patient care.
- 3D Printed Kidney Saves Patient's Organ