In a novel surgery, surgeons have transplanted the world’s first 3D printed titanium rib cage, NPR reports. A 54-year-old man who lost his sternum and four rib pieces when doctors removed a cancerous tumor was the recipient of the metallic implant, the surgeons describe in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Engineers with the Australian company Anatomics used CT scans of the man’s chest to custom design the device before printing it at a government lab. The 3D printing technology is particularly useful in these extreme cases that call for extensive reconstructions, helping craft an implant that “fitted like a glove,” the surgeons say. Such accuracy of fit may help to reduce any potential complications with the transplant.
(Video Credit: CSIRO)