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Patient creates 3D model of his own kidney to help surgeons

John Cousins in hospital with his 3D printed kidney Photo: isodo3D

A 3D print specialist has become a walking advert for the new technology after printing a model of his kidney to assist surgeons in an operation on himself.

John Cousins, managing director at 3D printer company isodo3D, offered to print a copy of his organ in order to assist surgeons with a kidney stone operation, which he needed to undergo after collapsing midway through a presentation at Bournemouth Hospital.

The 3D specialist has been negotiating with the NHS for a contract to print replica bones and organs so the idea to show off the technology in action would "immediately have come to mind", said his business partner.

A see-through computer image of the kidney used to make a printed model Credit: isodo3D
The 3D image of the kidney, complete with kidney stones shown in red Credit: isodo3D
The finished 3D model of John Cousins' kidney Credit: isodo3D

Anna Edmonds, isodo3D operations director, said: "The operation was on Monday morning, and was about two hours long. He is doing incredibly well and we think the model speeded up his recovery."

After Cousins collapse he was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he gave surgeons a 3D model of his kidney, created using his own medical details, which had been sliced in half to show exactly where the kidney stones were located.

The model was used in order to speed up the location and removal of the stones in the operating room.