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

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

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

Thanks to specialized 3D equipment, surgeons were able to operate faster and with greater precision.

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

Other types 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 side pain and nausea, the bouts of which became more frequent and stronger.

A 3D laparoscopic tool, 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 on her feet…and recovering well’.

When 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 needed to perform the operation, usually between two and three hours, can be reduced by 20%.

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

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