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Belfast Surgeon to Discuss his use of 3D Printing in Life-Changing Operation at SXSW 2019

3D printing aids kidney transplant

Dr. Tim Brown, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at Belfast City Hospital, is to take the stage at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference to share the story of how he used 3D printing technology to aid a complex and life-changing transplant on a young mother.

In January 2018, Dr. Tim Brown conducted a life-saving kidney transplant on twenty-two year old Pauline Fenton, a UK-resident and a mother who was diagnosed with a kidney disease, which was at the last stage. Fenton who was reliant on dialysis had received a kidney donor who was none other than her 45-year-old father Mr. William. However, as fate may have it, William was diagnosed with a cyst known as Bosniak 2F renal cyst on his kidney which he was about to donate to his daughter.

Above: Posterior side of William’s left kidney with black mass showing tumour/Image Credit axial3D

To make the complex procedure simple, a team of surgeons at Belfast City Hospital led by Mr. Brown turned to 3D printing technology. The surgeons decided to make a 3D printed replica model of William’s donor kidney. This kidney was printed exactly based on the William’s data obtained through his computed tomography (CT) scans.

Printed exactly with William’s anatomical data, the 3D printed kidney replica allowed the surgeons to know the exact size and placement of the tumour and cyst. This largely helped the surgical team to plan and prepare for the surgery, remove the cyst from William’s kidney and transplant it to Fenton. It was the first time that  Bosniak 2F renal cyst has been removed from a donor’s kidney without requiring the use of revision surgery. At SXSW, delegates will hear the story of Fenton.

3D printing aids kidney transplant
Above: Consultant Transplant Surgeon Tim Brown/Image Credit: axial3D

Dr. Brown is joined on 12th March by Daniel Crawford, CEO of Belfast-based axial3D (The firm that created the 3D model), Cathy Coomber, Operations Manager at axial3D, and Nigel McAlpine, Immersive Technology Lead at Digital Catapult NI who will share their experience on how the operation was made possible.

Speaking on how the 3D printed model aided the surgery, Dr. Brown said “As the cyst was buried deep within the renal cortex and therefore invisible on the back bench, a replica 3D model was used for preoperative planning and intra-operative localisation of the lesion. It’s difficult to underestimate how valuable this strategy was in terms of preoperative planning and achieving successful clearance of the lesion.”

The panel discussion is also set to explore the future of 3D printing, automation and machine learning for use in medicine. axial3D is investing heavily to include Artificial Intelligence within modules in the firm’s latest solution, axial3Dassure. Doing this, the firm aims to eliminate labour intensive and complex tasks involved in creating 3D printed models from 2D scans.

Delegates can meet Dr. Brown and the rest of the panel at their session, ‘Tumours, Transplants & Technology: AI For Life‘ on 12th March 2019 at SXSW, JW Marriott Salon FG in Austin, Texas.

About SXSW: The Health and Medtech Track at SXSW focuses on the latest technologies and approaches being applied to health, medicine, and wellbeing, ultimately improving health in the communities where we live, work and play. Technological advances in medicine such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, wearable devices for healthier living, and the impact of blockchain on healthcare are set to be central themes of the Health and Medtech sessions.

About axial3D: axial3D is a pioneering Belfast-based medical 3D printing company specialising in the use of patient-specific medical models to advance both standards and efficiency of surgical intervention. Creating precise 3D models generated from patient CT, MRI and PET data, this technology enhances pre-operative planning by personalizing healthcare. Bespoke 3D printed models are relied upon by prominent surgeons globally.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on 3D Printing Technology News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on Google+

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