Magnificent digital creations such as Digital Grotesque featured in my previous post, is impressive, indeed. Breathtaking. Here is a recent story of advancement in 3D printing on a much smaller scale. Smaller, yes, however, by no means less impressive:
Israel. Jerusalem. Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The patient is a young man, 21. Diagnosis: severe form of meningitis, an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain. The disease caused a life-threatening increase of intracranial pressure.
Senior Neurosurgeon Dr. John Winestone examined the patient and confirmed that the young man suffers from a rare form of infection. The chance of survival is extremely low. Medications did not help, the patient’s condition sharply worsened, he lost consciousness, gradually plunged into a coma and was hooked up to a Life Support System. Emergency surgery resulted in removing of a skull bone 15 centimeters (5.90551 inches) in diameter to stop further elevation of intracranial pressure. It ultimately saved the patient’s life. But what about his skull?
When the patient’s condition stabilized, experts decided to turn to volumetric printing to create a prosthetic skull bone. The unique surgery — an implantation of a 3D-printed part of the skull to replace a lost bone — was a success. At present, the patient’s condition is quite satisfactory.
It was for the first time in the history of medicine that the volumetric printing was used to create a skull bone. It should be noted that previously, 3D-printing was used primarily in oral and maxillofacial surgery.