Case studies

Case studies

Molding the future of 3D implants with innovative technology

Additive Manufacturing of 3D Printed Customized Implant for Cranial Bone Defect Repair.
A 3-case Report
Authors: Bruno Splavski, MD; Marko Kovacevic, MD; Goran Lakicevic, MD; Zdrinko Brekalo, MD; Kresimir Rotim, MD; Brano Splavski Jr., MD (Osijek, Croatia)

Additive manufacturing of 3D printed prefabricated cranioplastic implant has been recently initiated as a method for the repair of a skull bone defect due to traumatic brain injury and/or decompressive craniotomy. To support surgical and cosmetic outcome, the ideal implant is supposed to be well-built and strong enough, as well as appropriate for the entire bone defect closing. The aim of this article is to appraise 3D additive manufacturing as a procedure preceding contemporary personalized cranioplasty. It is based on our reconstructive surgery experience gained while dealing with skull bone defects of 3 consecutive cases.

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A Better Mold for Cranioplasties: 3D Printing Enables Faster, Cheaper, More Predictable Outcomes

A 23-year-old woman was admitted to the neurosurgery department of Osijek University Hospital in Croatia with a benign change in the bones of her skull. The deformed part of the skull was on her forehead and highly visible. In addition to needing to remove part of the diseased bone, doctors determined that it was also necessary to address the woman’s cosmetic defects in order to reduce the psychological consequences of the surgery. Traditionally, this procedure, a cranioplasty, required surgeons to tailor polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) bone cement implants to the patient’s skull using silicone molds. But these molds often have poor aesthetic results, long production times and high costs. Additionally, the operation would be lengthy and the final outcome was not guaranteed. This patient, and many others, have benefited from the additive technology of 3D printing.

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