New 3D printer sparks ideas for patient care

Friday 7 August 2015

New 3D printer sparks ideas for patient care

A new 3D printer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is generating innovative new ideas to improve patient care.

Exciting and imaginative suggestions for using the hi-tech device were received from staff in a Trust competition following the arrival of the new 3D printer in the Medical Physics Department.

Staff from the transplant team won the competition with their concept to 3D print model kidneys and blood vessels so they can plan highly complex operations with even more accuracy. 

Mr Pankaj Chandak, specialist registrar in transplant surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “Models produced by this 3D printer could prove invaluable in helping surgeons to plan, predict, and practise ahead of operations.

“We want to use the 3D printed models before we carry out life-saving transplant surgery on small children with renal failure, as this type of surgery is especially complex. The 3D printing of the donor’s kidney and the child’s blood vessels will assist the surgical team ahead of the operation and will increase the chances of the transplant being a success.”    

3D printers produce precise replicas of objects and are increasingly used in healthcare to customise medical products and equipment for individual patient needs.

The purchase of the new 3D printer was made possible thanks to a grant awarded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity through its Health Innovation Fund. The grant was given in recognition of the wide range of clinical uses that the 3D printer will have and the possible benefits for patients. 

Sir Hugh Taylor, Chairman of the Trust, says: “The arrival of this 3D printer is set to bring a big boost to research and innovation and potentially to the quality of patients’ care and experience. We’re extremely grateful to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity for its generous support.” 

Last updated: August 2015

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