Neurosurgeons successfully implant 3D printed skull

3D printed skull implant Photo Credit: UMC Utrecht

3D printed skull implant Photo Credit: UMC Utrecht

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 skull was made specifically for the patient using an unspecified durable plastic. Since the operation, the patient has gained her sight back entirely, is symptom-free and back to work. It is not known whether the plastic will require replacing at a later date or if it will last a lifetime.

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.

It is hoped this technique can also be used for patients with other bone disorders or to repair severely damaged skulls after an accident or tumour.

Source: Wired UK