Feeds

Dutch doctors replace woman's skull with 3D-printed plastic copy

Modern tech solves brain ache

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Graphic video Doctors at the University Medical Center in Utrecht have saved a woman's life – by carrying out the first skull transplant using plastic parts built in a 3D printer.

The unnamed 22-year-old patient was suffering from a rare condition that caused the inside of her skull to grow extra bone, which squeezed her brain. The growth was discovered after she reported severe headaches and then lost her sight and motor control. If untreated, the extra bone would have killed her.

It's usual for surgeons to remove parts of the skull, normally when illnesses such as severe cranial concussion cause the brain to swell. But having to replace so much of the skull, as in this young woman's case, is unusual and fraught with problems.

"We used to create an implant by hand in the operating theater using a kind of cement, but those implants did not have a very good fit," said pioneering surgeon Dr Bon Verweij.

"Now, these parts can be precisely created using 3D printing customized. This not only cosmetically very large benefits, but patients often have a better brain function seen compared to the old method."

The surgeons worked with Australian 3D printing firm Anatomics, which used CT scans to determine the precise shape of the patient's skull and then printed out a copy in acrylic, modified to remove the unwanted growth. They took off most of her cranium, and then fitted the artificial replacement in a 23-hour operation.

Warning: the video below is fairly gruesome, and you'll need to enable closed captions, unless you're fluent in Dutch.

The grueling operation was a success and the patient has made a full recovery, the hospital reports. Three months later and she is now back at work and is suffering no ill effects or visible scarring from the operation. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.