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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

3D printing used for rib repair

Monday September 14th, 2015

Surgeons have used a 3D printed implant to repair the sternum and rib cage of a 54-year-old man, it has been announced.

3D printing allowed surgeons to create an implant with "complex geometry and design," they have reported.

The titanium implant was made in a laboratory in Australia and used for a procedure in a hospital in Spain.

The patient had developed cancer on his chest.

Writing in the European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the surgeons say the operation was "very successful."

One of them, Dr José Aranda, of Salamanca University Hospital, said: "Thanks to 3D printing technology and a unique resection template, we were able to create a body part that was fully customised and fitted like a glove."

He added: "We thought, maybe we could create a new type of implant that we could fully customise to replicate the intricate structures of the sternum and ribs.

"We wanted to provide a safer option for our patient, and improve their recovery post-surgery."

He added: "While titanium implants have previously been used in chest surgery, designs have not considered the issues surrounding long term fixation.

"Flat and plate implants rely on screws for rigid fixation that may come loose over time. This can increase the risk of complications and the possibility of reoperation."

Tridimensional titanium-printed custom-made prosthesis for sternocostal reconstruction Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 4 August 2015; doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezv265 [abstract]

Tags: Australia | Cancer

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