A 54-year-old Spanish man has become the recipient of the world’s first (human deployed) 3D printed rib cage. The man was suffering from “chest wall sarcoma,” tumors that grow in and around the chest wall. In order to remove the tumors doctors had to remove parts of the man’s rib cage and sternum. The surgery saved the man’s life but without this 3D printed rib cage implant he would have been left without it. The company that created the titanium rib cage, CSIRO, says this part of the rib cage is complicated to recreate due to the geometry of the source material.
“This isn’t the first time surgeons have turned the human body into a titanium masterpiece. Thoracic surgeons typically use flat and plate implants for the chest. However, these can come loose over time and increase the risk of complications. The patient’s surgical team at the Salamanca University Hospital thought a fully customized 3D printed implant could replicate the intricate structures of the sternum and ribs, providing a safer option for the patient.
3D printing is becoming a useful tool in medicine, particularly in the field of prosthetics and replacement of body parts. While the technology continues to mature and more companies conduct better research and with patients like this man from Spain, it won’t be long until more people experience better lives with 3D printed prosthetics. The patient from this story is said to be recovering well 12 days after surgery.
What do you think of the first 3D printed rib cage being implanted? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.Source: Inquisitr
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