3D printed plastic skull successfully implanted in woman

Updated: Mar 28, 2014, 18:57 PM IST
Pic Courtesy: YouTube

Zee Media Bureau

London: In a first in medicine, part of a woman's skull has been replaced with a plastic cranium, made using a 3D printer.

The path breaking surgery took place in Utrecht, Holland three months ago.

Brain covering bone is usually about 1.5 cm thick but the 22-year-old woman's was 5cm and caused pressure and sight loss, doctors said

“Implants used to be made by hand in the operating theatre using a sort of cement which was far from ideal,” neurologist Dr Ben Verweij was quoted as telling to the Mirror.

He said by making use of 3D printing they could make one to the exact size, and this not only had great cosmetic advantages, but patients' brain function often recovered better than using the old method.

Dr Verweij added that the patient has her sight back entirely, is symptom-free and has gone back to work, asserting that it was almost impossible to make out if she's ever had surgery.

Although the Dutch operation is considered the world's first full-skull transplant using 3D printing, a similar surgery was conducted on an American man in 2013, in which 75 percent of his skull was replaced with an implant printed by 3D technology.

With Agency Inputs