We have seen a number of surgeries in the last few months involving 3d printed patches to the human skull, however this procedure blows those all away. Surgeons at Utrecht University’s UMC in the Netherlands replaced the entire top of a 22 year old woman’s skull with a 3d printed customized implant made from plastic.
The woman suffered from a rare disorder in which her skull was gradually becoming thicker and thicker. The normal thickness of a human skull is approximately 1.5cm, but the patient’s skull was already close to 5cm in thickness, and growing. Continued growth would have eventually led to her death as the skull was compressing her brain, causing serious damage.
The 23 hour operation was performed by neurologist Bon Verweij, surgeon Marvick Muradin, and their highly skilled team. Normally surgeons would create an implant with a concrete like substance, which are heavier, and imperfect, as they are hand made. The plastic implant, which was created specialist Australian firm, had been customized for the patient.
“Implants used to be made by hand in the operating theatre using a sort of cement which was far from ideal,’ Verweij said. “Using 3D printing we can make one to the exact size. This not only has great cosmetic advantages, but patients’ brain function often recovers better than using the old method.”
The operation, which took place back in December, and was an overwhelming success, with the patient making a full recovery, and already returning to work, symptom free. Discuss this procedure at 3D Print Board. Also check out the video below for further details on this implant.