3D Printing Aids Surgeons to Save Five Year Old Boys Life

3D printing is once again showing how it can be a life changing piece of technology after a team of surgeons in Spain used their 3D printers to help save the life of a 5-year old cancer patient. The boy was suffering from neuroblastoma, which meant that he needed to have a tumour removed from around his stomach. Unfortunately after two failed attempts the surgeons were at a loss and couldn’t save the boy.

“We tried the surgery twice but we failed because we could not access,” head surgeon Jaume Mora said at a press conference Wednesday. “Instead of surrendering, we tried to find a solution.”

The team at Hospital Sant Joan de Deu in Barcelona and the team at CIM Foundation at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia joined forces to create a 3D printed replica of the boy’s tumour, allowing the surgeons to practice the procedure. The extra training on a simulated stomach and tumour allowed the surgeons to precisely learn how to deal with the patient and just 1.5 weeks after they were able to successfully remove the tumour from the boy’s body.

The surgery went so well that the boy will not even need any follow-up surgeries, and doctors were so impressed with their final results that they commissioned 3D printed models for two other patients.

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of CNET.