Libby, 11, becomes first child to have kidney surgery using 3D technology

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Libby from Somerset become the first child in the UK to have her kidney operated on using 3D technology. (Bristol Children’s Hospital/PA)
Libby from Somerset become the first child in the UK to have her kidney operated on using 3D technology. (Bristol Children’s Hospital/PA)

An 11-year-old schoolgirl has become the first child in the UK to have her kidney operated on using 3D technology.

Libby, from Watchet, Somerset underwent surgery on her kidney after suffering a condition which meant she was often in severe pain.

Using specialist 3D equipment, surgeons were able to operate faster and with greater accuracy.

The step forward in treatment means hundreds more children across the country could benefit from having faster surgery.

Other kinds of keyhole surgery performed at Bristol Children’s Hospital will also benefit from the new system.

Libby had a blocked ureter, the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder, often causing pain in her side and nausea, bouts of which were becoming more frequent and stronger.

A 3D laparoscopic tool, which is 4mm wide and more commonly used for brain surgery, was used to correct the problem.

Libby’s father Andrew said after the operation that she was “back up on her feet… and is recovering well”.

Told she was the first child in the country to have surgery using the technique, Libby said it was “pretty cool”.

The kit costs £20,000 and the time taken to complete the surgery, usually between two and three hours, can be reduced by 20%.

Libby’s paediatric urologist, Mark Woodward, said: “The image quality for such a small scope is absolutely superb.

“This new mini 3D system provides a real advantage for children and we’re proud to be the first children’s hospital in the UK to use it.”

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