SCIENCE IS SO KEWL: Neurosurgeons Successfully Implant 3D Printed Skull (Wired UK)
A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder — which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches — has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant.
The operation was performed by a team of neurosurgeons at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the university claims this is this first instance of a successful 3D printed cranium that has not been rejected by the patient.
The operation, which took 23 hours, was led by Dr Bon Verweij. The patient’s skull was so thick, that had the operation not been performed, serious brain damage or death may have occurred in the near future.
“It was only a matter of time before critical brain functions were compromised and she would die,” said Dr Verweij. Major surgery was inevitable, but prior to the 3D printing technique, there was no ideal effective treatment.