Personalized 3D printed model of kidney and tumor anatomy: a useful tool for patient education

Jean Christophe Bernhard, Shuji Isotani, Toru Matsugasumi, Vinay Duddalwar, Andrew J. Hung, Evren Suer, Eduard Baco, Raj Satkunasivam, Hooman Djaladat, Charles Metcalfe, Brian Hu, Kelvin Wong, Daniel Park, Mike Nguyen, Darryl Hwang, Soroush T. Bazargani, Andre Luis de Castro Abreu, Monish Aron, Osamu Ukimura, Inderbir S. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the impact of 3D printed models of renal tumor on patient’s understanding of their conditions. Patient understanding of their medical condition and treatment satisfaction has gained increasing attention in medicine. Novel technologies such as additive manufacturing [also termed three-dimensional (3D) printing] may play a role in patient education. Methods: A prospective pilot study was conducted, and seven patients with a primary diagnosis of kidney tumor who were being considered for partial nephrectomy were included after informed consent. All patients underwent four-phase multi-detector computerized tomography (MDCT) scanning from which renal volume data were extracted to create life-size patient-specific 3D printed models. Patient knowledge and understanding were evaluated before and after 3D model presentation. Patients’ satisfaction with their specific 3D printed model was also assessed through a visual scale. Results: After viewing their personal 3D kidney model, patients demonstrated an improvement in understanding of basic kidney physiology by 16.7 % (p = 0.018), kidney anatomy by 50 % (p = 0.026), tumor characteristics by 39.3 % (p = 0.068) and the planned surgical procedure by 44.6 % (p = 0.026). Conclusion: Presented herein is the initial clinical experience with 3D printing to facilitate patient’s pre-surgical understanding of their kidney tumor and surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • 3D printing
  • Education
  • Kidney tumors
  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Renal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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