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World J Urol. 2016 Apr;34(4):533-7. doi: 10.1007/s00345-015-1530-7. Epub 2015 Apr 5.

Evaluation of three-dimensional printing for laparoscopic partial nephrectomy of renal tumors: a preliminary report.

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Department of Urology, Peking University International Hospital, No.1 Life Park Rd, ZGC Life Science Park, Beijing, 102206, China.
Wu Jieping Urology Center, Peking University Shou Gang Hospital, No.9 Jinyuanzhuang Rd, Beijing, 100144, China.



To investigate the impact of three-dimensional (3D) printing on the surgical planning, potential of training and patients' comprehension of minimally invasive surgery for renal tumors.


Patients of a T1N0M0 single renal tumor and indicated for laparoscopic partial nephrectomy were selected. CT data were sent for post-processing and output to the 3D printer to create kidney models with tumor. By presenting to experienced laparoscopic urologists and patients, respectively, the models' realism, effectiveness for surgical planning and training, and patients' comprehension of disease and procedure were evaluated with plotted questionnaires (10-point rating scales, 1-not at all useful/not at all realistic/poor, 10-very useful/very realistic/excellent). The size of resected tumors was compared with that on the models.


Ten kidney models of such patients were fabricated successfully. The overall effectiveness in surgical planning and training (7.8 ± 0.7-8.0 ± 1.1), and realism (6.0 ± 0.6-7.8 ± 1.0) were reached by four invited urologists. Intraoperative correlation was advocated by the two performing urologists. Patients were fascinated with the demonstration of a tactile "diseased organ" (average ≥ 9.0). The size deviation was 3.4 ± 1.3 mm.


Generating kidney models of T1N0M0 tumors with 3D printing are feasible with refinements to be performed. Face and content validity was obtained when those models were presented to experienced urologists for making practical planning and training. Understandings of the disease and procedure from patients were well appreciated with this novel technology.


Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy; Renal tumor; Surgeon-patient communications; Surgical planning; Surgical training; Three-dimensional (3D) printing

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