Dec 12, 2016 | By Tess

Every day we see more and more evidence that 3D printed medical applications are catching on globally. In a first for the Middle East, UAE doctors have used 3D printing technology to help safely remove a cancerous tumor from a 42-year-old woman’s kidney.

A team of doctors in Dubai have successfully removed a kidney tumor with the help of a transparent, patient-specific 3D printed surgical aid. Not only did the 3D printed aid help them to carefully plan their surgical process for removing the tumor from the patient, but it allowed them to shave an hour off the total operation time.

The patient in question, a 42-year-old Palestinian woman who is residing in the UAE, first came contacted medical professionals after suffering from severe abdominal pain. After a number of tests, doctors found that her pain and discomfort were caused by a tumor located in one of her kidneys. For her treatment, she was referred to the Dubai Hospital, operated by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Because of the size and location of the tumor within the kidney—four centimeters long and situated right next to the renal artery—the team of doctors working on the patient’s case were forced to decide whether it was better to remove the whole kidney, or if it was possible to only remove the tumor. Ultimately, they decided there was a chance to save the kidney if they had the help of a detailed 3D printed surgical aid.

The 3D print was created based off of the patient’s CT scans and ultrasounds, and was 3D printed from transparent and colored plastics so that the doctor’s could visualize where the tumor was located. Since the technology has not yet been integrated in UAE hospitals, the 3D print was ordered from the U.S.

Upon receiving the 3D printed kidney model, the team of doctors, led by Dr Yaser Al Saeedi, was able to properly map out its surgical process to make the actual procedure as minimally invasive as possible. Finally, when it came time to operate, the surgeons were ready and the procedure went very well.

As Dr Saeedi explains, “With the 3D printing, and knowing exactly how to approach the tumour and how to remove it, it took us an hour less [than normal]. We’ve done it in three hours exact. The removal of the lesion itself took us only 28 minutes.” Since the surgery, which took place last Wednesday, the patient has been recovering well and is expected to be discharged any day.

Judging by the UAE’s forward thinking approach towards 3D printing technologies—Dubai plans to have 25% of buildings 3D printed by 2030, for instance—we expect that their hospitals will soon be equipped with the technology and tools to create 3D printed surgical models on the spot.

“Using 3D technology for surgeries and other medical purposes is the future,” noted Humaid Al Qutami, DHA director-general. “We are currently working on developing regulations for 3D printing for patients and the medical sector in Dubai…We are also looking at training doctors and health-care professionals on the use of this technology.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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