3D printed rib implanted in patient for the first timeadmin
A 54-year-old Spanish cancer patient received the first-ever 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage implant. After suffering from a chest wall sarcoma, the patient needed to have his sternum and a portion of his ribcage replaced. Typically, these type of replacements are very difficult, due to the complexity and highly individualized nature of the required implant. In this instance, his surgical team at Salamanca University Hospital decided to utilize a technology that’s becoming more widely utilized in the medical field: 3D printing.
Melbourne-based Anatomics worked with Csiro’s Lab 22 to design and manufacture a completely patient-specific implant. While titanium has been used in a number of other surgical implants, this is the first time it has been used for this type of application.
The team at Anatomics used the patient’s CT scans to create a 3D replication of the patient’s chest wall and tumor. This allowed the surgeons to identify the margins necessary to safely remove the tumor and provided the Lab 22 group to exactly replicate his ribs and sternum. The Arcam printer Lab 22 used allowed them to produce high quality, robust implants in a very short amount of time – which is key when it comes to performing lifesaving surgeries.