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3D Printer makes an amazing difference for Dexter

05.03.19 Categories: Patient stories,


Meet three-year-old Dexter. This is his story about his life-changing kidney transplant, for which his dad, Brendan, was the donor.

A 3D printer, which was bought thanks to donations, played a vital part in Dexter and Brendan’s operations.

Little Dexter was born was severe kidney problems which left him only able to eat from a feeding tube. Dexter desperately needed a kidney transplant, which Brendan selflessly volunteered to be the donor for. 


To help plan this complex operation, staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ used the 3D printer to check that Brendan’s adult-sized kidney would fit into his tiny son’s abdomen.

The pioneering method enabled Brendan’s kidney and Dexter’s abdomen to be scanned and then printed as 3D models. Surgeons used the models to check how the kidney would fit, and even took them into the operating theatre to help them during the procedure.

Thanks to donations, the 3D printer will help many more patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’ like Dexter and Brendan.

Find out more about how you can support Guy’s and St Thomas’ and help make our life-saving care even better.