3D Printing Helps Doctors Transplant Father’s Kidney Into Toddler

May 16, 2018 6:50 am Last Updated: May 16, 2018 6:50 am

A little boy in need of a transplant was able to receive a full-sized kidney from his father thanks to 3D printing technology.

First, doctors used a 3D-printed model of the boy’s abdomen and the donor kidney to figure out the complexities of placing the larger-than-average adult kidney into 3-year-old Dexter Clark.

“It’s just amazing that they were able to do this,” said Dexter’s mother Emily, according to Sky News. “If they hadn’t been able to perform the operation Dexter would have had to go on dialysis and wait until he got bigger.”

The scale-size replica also let doctors practice the complicated procedure beforehand, enabling them to spot potential trouble spots beforehand and address them before the actual surgery.