22 Feb Patients Chest Rebuilt With 3D Printing Technology
Posted at 12:01h
It wasn’t that long ago when all you ever heard was… print is dying, print is finished, print is done! I never believed that was going to be the case, even as a very young lad in the reprographics and print industry, I knew that there were too many unknown’s in the tech future for anyone to be able to predict the outcomes either way.
All I knew was that they said newspapers were finished when radio was invented, then they said radio was done for when TV was invented, then TV was done for along with print when the internet happened. And guess what, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
As each new communication channel comes along, all it serves to do is strengthen the previous media formats and integrates to become an even more powerful means of communication and opens up new opportunities. As with everything in life, it’s about evolving and adapting and pushing the boundaries of what is possible – that’s how we progress and grow and improve.
And we love examples of how ‘old’ tech is being adapted and used for new purposes, especially when it’s saving lives! We recently came across this great example, where grandad Peter Maggs had his chest rebuilt using 3D-printed technology during an operation to remove a large tumour.
Peter needed three ribs and half of his breastbone removed during an eight-hour operation to remove a cancerous tumour the size of a tennis ball. The procedure unfortunately left an extensive defect in the 71-year olds chest. The operation was carried out at Morriston Hospital, Swansea and the surgeons would traditionally reconstruct a chest with a special bone cement prosthesis.
However, thanks to the advances in 3D printing technology it allowed surgeons at the hospital to use a bespoke titanium implant instead. The ribs and breastbone replacement was actually designed by the surgeons and then printed locally in Wales ahead of the operation.
This isn’t the first time that the hospital has used 3D technology either! Last year they created a technique to reconstruct jaws affected by cancer using the same 3D printing processes.
So perhaps it’s a case of…Print is dead! Long live Print!
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