Surgeons at the University Medical Center at Utrecht University in The Netherlands have successfully replaced a woman's skull with a 3D-printed replica.
Led by brain surgeon Bon Verweij, MD, the surgical team labored 23 hours in the operating room to replace the woman's skull with one made of acrylic. Her new skull was 3D-printed by an Australian company, Anatomics (St. Kilda, Victoria), which specializes in the custom 3D-printing of cranial and maxillofacial implants based on the patient's own CT and MRI image data. Verweij performed the operation with assistance from orthodontic surgeon Marvick Muradin, MD.
The woman had a condition that causes bones to thicken, particularly in the skull. This had caused her skull to thicken to almost three times its normal thickness, which was putting pressure on her brain.
The 3D printed skull used in the operation.
(Source: University Medical Center Utrecht)
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— Stephen Levy is a contributor to Qmed.