3D-Printing Tech Lets You See an Operation on Your Own Organs - Nerdist
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3D-Printing Tech Lets You See an Operation on Your Own Organs

3D-printing technology has led to humans having almost anything we need in only a few simple steps. That apparently includes scale models of our own internal organs. That way, surgeons can practice on an exact replica of the body they’ll soon be operating on. Which is all well and good, but we’re not sure we could stomach actually watching our own organs go under the knife. Even if it is only a model. But that’s exactly what YouTuber Tom Scott does in the video below. And while it’s not a Voodoo doll, he understandably cringes and grabs his own abdomen while watching the surgery on his 3D-printed organs.  

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Scott linked up with the company Lazarus 3D that makes the 3D-printed body parts. After getting an MRI of his abdomen, he literally unboxes a replica of himself. The process recreates the shape and size of his actual organs. But, in this case, the company added a cyst on his left kidney. The surgeon walks Scott through everything, pointing out the arteries, veins, and other odds and ends. It all looks a bit like Silly Putty and Gak, but it’s definitely not child’s play. Thankfully, the dummy Scott’s organs and vessels aren’t filled with the gushing red blood stand-in the company offers.

Scott remains remarkably calm while his faux abdomen and its 3D-printed organs is poked, prodded, and snipped. But then again, he has already seen his body as colorful 3D X-rays in a previous video on his YouTube channel. He also came face to face with a robotic double of himself, which would freak most people out.

A 3D-printed kidney, cyst, and blood vessels
Lazarus 3D

Watching the robot respond to the surgeon’s gestures is particularly interesting. The tiny tools move with his hands when he’s explaining things to Scott. Other similar medical advances include experimental robotic surgeries with no human control. Researchers have also created 3D-printed tumors to find helpful treatments and surgeries. All this technology means a higher surgery success rate, but thankfully it doesn’t require you to watch.

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.

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