Pediatric Liver Transplant Team Increases Surgical Precision with 3D Printing Technology


Liver transplantation among young children may be necessary due to biliary atresia or acute liver failure. This is usually done by removing the liver from a brain death donor or a part of the left liver is received from a living family member or relative. However, the problem with this is that infants under the age of one are too small to receive even just a fraction of these adult livers.


The Pediatric Liver Transplantation Team at Samsung Medical Center drew attention at the 50th Asian Transplantation Week 2021, when they announced the usefulness of the pediatric liver transplant program by using the 3D printing technology.


The Pediatric Liver Transplantation Team simplified the structure while printing the liver transplant recipient's abdominal cavity in its actual size through 3D printing. It took 9 hours from modeling to printing and to completion, reducing the production time by 1/5 compared to previously published studies. Furthermore, this directly helps reduce the risk of receiving a large liver transplant for recipients with a small abdominal cavity during an emergency liver transplant from a brain death donor.


The Pediatric Liver Transplantation Team stated that by applying this technology to pediatric liver transplantation, it is of great benefit when making detailed plans, such as printing the expected graft for a living donor in its actual size, and to plan 'how to cut the liver' before surgery.


The Division of Transplantation Surgery of Samsung Medical Center has continuously performed liver transplantation using 3D printing technology and successfully performed a total of 14 transplants thus far.