By Stephanie Stahl

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Surgeons are looking to make difficult and complicated surgeries easier with three-dimensional technology. The technology will allow them to see what they’ll be dealing with before they operate.

One girl from Delaware is the first to have a 3D model made of her kidney.

The Melendez family turned to  Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, because 5-year-old Yaidailis had an itchy rash which doctors determined was caused by a kidney tumor.

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“Because of the likelihood this could be cancer, we’d have to be very careful removing the lesion,” urologist Dr. Jennifer Hagerty said.

She says the hospital created the kidney model to help her precisely plan the surgery prior to the surgery.

credit: CBS3

“Looking at this 3D model, I was able to look at it and see how close it was exactly to her blood vessels to the urinary system and how much I would need to cut into those structures in order to safely remove this,” she said.

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These 3D models also help families, according to Dr. Hagerty.

“I think families need to be a part of the decision-making process and it’s important for them to understand what is going on,” she said.

Yaidailis was the first patient at the hospital to have a 3D kidney made. The tumor was successfully removed and turned out to be benign.

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Nemours has its own 3D-printing lab with more doctors using true-to-size models to prep all kinds of surgery.

They say it reduces unexpected events and can make operations faster and better for patients.

Stephanie Stahl