After being diagnosed with complex kidney cancer, Linda Green feared she would need to have her entire kidney removed to treat the cancerous tumor. Then she met Intermountain urological cancer surgeon Jay Bishoff, MD. The specialists at the Intermountain Urological Institute and the Intermountain Transformation Lab used innovative 3D printing technology to make an exact replica of Linda’s kidney and tumor. Guided by the model, the team was then able to devise a way to completely remove her cancer while saving her kidney.
“Linda’s tumor was right in the middle, where all the arteries and veins come into the kidney,” says Dr. Bishoff. “Because of its location and other medical conditions Linda faced, removing the tumor and preserving the kidney would be difficult.”
Caregivers at Intermountain’s Transformation Lab, working with Dr. Bishoff and radiology specialists, were able to create a three-dimensional reconstruction of Linda’s kidney and tumor using a CAT scan of her kidney. They then printed the kidney reconstruction using a 3D format printer. “This is exactly her anatomy. It’s like we took her kidney out to have a chance to explore it before we operated on it,” says Dr. Bishoff. “Referring back and forth to the model, we were able to dissect the tumor out of the kidney without causing any significant bleeding. Additionally, we were able to completely identify the tip of the tumor, which we very easily could have missed without the model. We cured her of her cancer that day.”
Linda’s surgery was done laparoscopically through four very small incisions. She went home the next day with her kidney intact. And she is very grateful. “When Dr. Bishoff told me he was going to try to save my kidney, I was shocked. I had been told there wasn’t a chance of saving my kidney. For me, faith in God and exceptional medical care got me through. I want other people to know that there is hope. With the right technology, better things can happen for each of us. That’s what Dr. Bishoff did. He saved my kidney and gave me a better life.”