A young woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder will be receiving a new top portion of her skull thanks to a 3D printed skull. She is 22-years-old and the disorder has caused her skull to increase in thickness from 1.5cm to 5cm which has resulted in reduced eyesight and severe headaches.
A team of neurosurgeons at the Utrecht University Medical Centre performed the miraculous surgery. It is claimed that this is the first successful 3D printed cranium not being rejected by a patient. After a 23 hour surgery, led by Dr. Bon Verweij, the patient was saved from impending death or severe brain damage due to the thickness of the skull.
Prior to 3D printing technology there was no real ideal or effective treatment. “It was only a matter of time before critical brain functions were compromised and she would die,” said Dr Verweij.
Using an unspecified plastic the skull was specifically made for the patient. The patient has since regained her eye sight back completely and is symptom free and back to work. Whether the plastic will last for the remainder of her lifetime remains to be seen. If it does not, a future surgery will be required.
It is hoped that the technique will allow doctors to help people who have severely damaged skulls due to cancer or trauma.