Man 3-D Prints Model of His Own Kidney Before Surgery

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When surgeons in England operated on John Cousins on Monday, they had a 3-D model of his kidney for reference. His company, isodo3d, printed it for them after Cousins had collapsed on the floor due to pain from a "stag head" kidney stone. (It involves painful "antlers" that stick out to the side). While uncomfortable, the kidney stone turned out to be an opportunity. He had been "putting together a proposal for the Southampton General Hospital for 3-D printing replica bones and organs for pre-op planning," Anna Edmonds, operations director at isodo3d, told NBC News in an email. "It is sheer coincidence that John developed this huge stag head kidney stone." The surgeons at Southampton General Hospital used the model in their preparation and successfully operated on Cousins. He hopes that a trial of 20 patients at the hospital will encourage more doctors to use 3-D models to cut down on operation times.



— Keith Wagstaff