Cancer patient receives 3D printed ribs in world-first surgery

News @ CSIRO

The sternum (the central piece) and the rib cages emanating from it, have been designed using precise scans to perfectly fit in the patient's chest after he had sections removed. 3D printed sternum: The ‘chest’ story you’ll hear all week. Image credit: Anatomics

A Spanish cancer patient has received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage designed and manufactured right here in Australia.

Suffering from a chest wall sarcoma (a type of cancerous tumour that grows, in this instance, around the rib cage), the 54 year old man needed his sternum and a portion of his rib cage replaced. This part of the chest is notoriously tricky to recreate with prosthetics, due to the complex geometry and design required for each patient. So the patient’s surgical team determined that a fully customisable 3D printed sternum and rib cage was the best option.

Here's how the 3D printed sternum and rib cage fit inside the patient's body. Here’s how the 3D printed sternum and rib cage fit inside the patient’s body.

That’s when they turned to Melbourne-based medical device company Anatomics, who designed and manufactured the implant utilising our 3D printing facility, Lab 22.

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