Dutch hospital has successfully performed the first operation replacing a patient’s skull with a 3D-printed version.
The 22-year-old patient suffered from a rare disorder that caused the bone in her skull to thicken abnormally, from the normal 1.5cm to 5cm thick.
The condition gave the woman poor eyesight, severe headaches and the inability to perform facial expressions, with doctors saying the pressure on her brain would have certainly killed her in time.
The operation took 23 hours to perform and was led by Dr Bon Verweij from the University Medical Centre Utrecht. 3D-printers have previously been used to replace skull fragments, but this is the first time such an extensive area of the cranium – nearly a full hemisphere – has been transplanted.