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Use of 3D printing to create a bespoke repair of a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube in patient unfit for surgical replacement
  1. Kevin J O’Sullivan1,2,
  2. Aidan G O’Sullivan1,
  3. Noelle Power3,
  4. John Gillick4,
  5. Colum P Dunne2,
  6. Leonard O’Sullivan1,
  7. Barry Linnane2,3,5
  1. 1 Design Factors Research Group, School of Design, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  2. 2 Graduate Entry Medical School and Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity (4i), University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  3. 3 University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  4. 4 Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5 National Children’s Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Kevin J O’Sullivan, Design Factors Research Group, School of Design, Foundation Building, University of Limerick, Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland; kevin.j.osullivan{at}


We report a case of three-dimensional (3D) printing being used to solve a difficult bedside clinical problem and avoidance of substantial risk associated with alternative solutions. A 15-year-old male with advanced cystic fibrosis developed a small (~1mm) linear tear in his Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube, approximately 40 mm from the skin surface. The patient’s advanced condition precluded replacement of the PEG tube under general anaesthetic. Attempts to manage the tear with adhesive tapes yielded limited success. 3D printing was used to create a bespoke sealing device overnight, rectifying the leak and allowing enteral feeding to recommence unimpeded. The device is functioning well, several months post-discharge of the patient.

  • inventions
  • 3d printing
  • palliative care

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  • Contributors KJOS and BL drafted the original manuscript. KJOS, AOS and LOS were responsible for the design and manufacture of the sealing device. NP, BL and JG were the responsible clinical staff for the patient concerned. CD helped to prepare the manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Presented at The contents of this manuscript were presented in abbreviated form as a poster at the Irish Thoracic Society Annual Scientific Meeting, November 2017.