01 April 2014

Unique operation: Skull transplant

Surgeons transplanted a human skull printed on a 3D printer

"Newspaper.Ru" based on the materials of the University Medical Center Utrecht: 3D-printed skull implanted in patientIn the Netherlands, a unique operation was performed at the Medical Center of the University of Utrecht: a person was transplanted almost an entire skull printed on a three-dimensional plastic printer.

Such an operation was required by a 22-year–old woman who suffered from a rare disease - Van Buchem's disease, named after the Dutch doctor who described her. In patients, the bones of the skull thicken, which leads not only to external deformities, but also causes a constant headache. Due to the thickening of the bones, the skull becomes very heavy, sometimes it weighs three times more than normal.

The disease was first described in 1955, in the 60s and 70s, 13 more cases of the disease were found in a small Dutch village, in 2013, researchers described 18 people affected by this disease.

Scientists have found out that the disease is caused by a mutation on the 17th chromosome. This mutation is recessive, that is, it does not manifest if it is present on only one chromosome. But if mutant genes are present on both paired chromosomes, a person becomes ill. Interestingly, Van Buchem's disease occurs only among the Dutch, and in small populations, for example, among the population of one village.

For the operation, the patient had the upper half of the skull made of plastic, printed on a 3D printer. The operation lasted 23 hours. The patient's thickened skull was removed almost completely and replaced with a plastic implant. At the same time, the meninges remained intact.

After the operation, the patient feels well. This technique, doctors say, can also be used to replace individual skull bones in traumatic brain injuries, for example, as a result of an accident.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru01.04.2014

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