Man Beats His Cancer With the Help of A 3-D Printer!
Cancer affects millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, we have no way to rid the world of this deadly disease yet. What we do have, thanks to a combination of modern technologies, is the power to form-fit body parts inside patients to help them live longer and happier lives.
In particular, we are talking about a man from Spain who has a chest wall sarcoma. When this form of cancer is treated, it involves removing much of the skeletal support for your upper torso. To help patients, surgeons can install flat plates to the chest area using screws. While this process is definitely better than nothing, it is far from being perfect.
Anatomics is a Melbourne-based company that specializes in making high-end medical gadgets and devices while CSIRO is a top 3-D printing company based in Australia, as well. By using several high-resolution CT scans of the patient’s rib cage and chest, Anatomics was able to virtually model the patient’s chest, allowing CSIRO to make a titanium chest implant fitted perfectly to his chest.
RELATED ARTICLE: This Type Of Cancer Is The Deadliest For Black Women
How They Did It
Anatomics started with several high-resolution CT scans. These scans consisted of the area affected by the chest wall sarcoma removal process. These scans were powerful enough to give the team a chance to reproduce the patient’s bone structure in a virtual world. Besides being the template for the end-product, this virtual model gave the doctors and surgeons involved a better idea of what was going on and where the new pieces went.
After this virtual model was created, the files were then shipped over to the eager team at CSIRO. Using a high-powered electron beam, the team was able to melt powdered titanium into a more usable material. Their 3-D printing machine then went to work, using the specs from the virtual model, to create the world’s first 3-D printed chest implant.
It has been weeks since the operation, and our history-making patient is doing well and in high spirits. This is great news for the plethora of patients out there suffering from debilitating illnesses. Already, 3-D printing has helped medical students learn and surgeons better plan for the incisions ahead. The future is only limited by our imaginations, and right now, it is looking beautiful.
See It for Yourself
Watch this video from CSIRO to learn more about this unique process: