We’ve seen how 3D printing can be incredibly useful not just for making products or creating novelty items, but how it can also be used in the medical community. Back in 2013 we talked about how 3D printers have managed to 3D print skull implants and it seems that over in the Netherlands, one woman was the recipient of such an implant.
The operation took place about 3 months ago, but the Dutch News recently reported on how the operation was successful and how the woman has been going about her day perfectly fine with her 3D printed skull implant. The implant was printed by an Australian firm while the operation was conducted at the Utrecht University’s Medical Center in the Netherlands.
The operation reportedly took about 23 hours to complete and according to lead neurologist, Ben Verweij, “The patient has her sight back entirely, is symptom-free, is back to work, and it is almost impossible to see that she’s ever had surgery.” He later adds, “Implants used to be made by hand in the operating theater using a sort of cement which was far from ideal. 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 reason the implant was needed was because the woman was suffering from a rare condition in which her skull was more than three times thicker than a normal skull, and because of this, it put pressure on her brain which led to severe headaches and vision loss. Now there is a video above which shows how the implant is placed on the brain but if you’re a bit squeamish, perhaps you’ll want to give this a miss. You have been warned!