While 3D printing is making leaps and bounds throughout nearly every sector, delighting, shocking, and blowing minds from outrageous 3D printed fashion to plans for using the technology even in colonizing Mars, one company has some very down-to-earth plans for making a serious difference for patients–and their doctors too.
We’ve followed Osteo3D as they have progressed from invaluable 3D printed medical models that have made a big difference to items like 3D printed jaw prosthetics and far more, even to include a repository of 3D models for doctors to use. Now, they’ve tackled a problem which has long been in need of a personalized solution. And if you’ve ever seen a kid experiencing the inconvenience of having to wear a medical helmet for any reason, you will most likely understand the need.
In dealing with post endoscopic craniosynostosis surgery, a ‘helmet’ is required as a post-operative guide, but what has been used traditionally is quite generic. With customization being the key, Osteo3D was able to help doctors from a Bangalore-based hospital through the incredible innovation afforded by digital design coupled with 3D printing.
“Lot of these babies does not get treated at the right time,” noted consultant plastic surgeon Dr. Derick Mendonca, who works with Sakra World Hospital, “nor do many parents know about the option available for treatment.”
With the 3D printed helmet they were able to make for a 5-month-old baby, treated at Sakra World Hospital on August 21st, doctors were given a new level of both accuracy and precision to work with in seeing that their initial patient progressed correctly after the surgery. With craniosynostosis and the resulting endoscopic procedure (a “keyhole skull expansion” technique), doctors generally employ the use of a helmet afterward to guide the proper healing as it puts pressure on indicated parts of the patient’s skull, manipulating it gently into expanding properly at just the right spots.
“Knowing about our baby’s condition, we did not know what to do till we brought him to the efficient team of doctors. I am grateful to all of them for giving a new life to my child,” the baby’s father said.
With the new 3D printed helmet, not only were they able to make a customized guide, but a very affordable one too, offering up another key benefit of 3D printing in medicine.
“Osteo3d developed the 3D printed helmet with precision and accuracy so that the right pressure is applied in the manner required by the plastic surgeon,” Deepak Raj, founder of Osteo3D, told 3DPrint.com. ”We are proud that we made a difference for a very young patient.”
With their customized and 3D printed design making an impact in the life of one young Bangalore patient immediately, it is hoped that they will be able to keep using and refining this design and technology in the future. Occurring in one out of 2,000 births, craniosynostosis is a condition that causes fibers in the skull to fuse too early on, affecting the growth of the young skull, causing a detrimental pattern as it follows parallel to the closed areas, or sutures. This can cause not only an abnormal skull shape, but also facial features and a host of side effects, from eyesight loss to sleeping issues, trouble eating, and even reduction in IQ.
This is just one more great 3D printing innovation making a quiet difference in the medical field, offering a way to improve the quality of a patient’s life, while transforming the way medical devices and models are traditionally made. With the benefits offered through speed, accuracy, customization, and affordability–surely, there’s no looking back.
Osteo3D is headquartered in Bangalore India, where they are undeniably a forerunner in providing numerous healthcare applications for 3D printing.
Let’s hear your thoughts on yet another awesome user of 3D printing in the medical field. Discuss in the Osteo3D forum thread on 3DPB.com