Team of Indian Doctors Use 3D Printed Skull to Visualise Skull Before Surgery

Team of Indian Doctors Use 3D Printed Skull to Visualise Skull Before Surgery

In Clinical Development by Cecile

Team of Indian Doctors to operate on three year-old girls deformed skull

A group of Indian doctors from the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgradute Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Pondicherry, India, is soon set to perform cranio-cerebral surgery on a three year old girl with a rare girl with a rare disease known as craniosynostosis.

The girls condition causes the fibrous sutures in her skull to prematurely fuse, turning into bone. This alters the normal growth pattern of the skull, and where the skull would normally grow and expand towards a fused suture, it compensates by growing more in the direction parallel to the closed sutures. This can cause an abnormal head shape, and in some cases, where there is not enough space for the growing brain, intracranial pressure increases, which can lead to a host of problems such as visual impairment and impaired mental development. The condition only occurs in one in 2000 births.

The team of doctors have used a 3D printer to create a replica of the girls skull, which will help the surgeons visualise the skull and its deformities before operating on her. To obtain the replica, the doctors took a CT scan of the girls head, and send the 3D file to a 3D printing company in Mumbai, called Divide By Zero technologies.

skull-550x225 model

Actual skull replica used by the doctors


The replica will ensure that not many things are left to chance on the operating table. With the replica of the child’s skull, we know where the holes in the skull are, and it will help us cut the bones with precision to get optimal results
Dr.Dinesh Kumar, leader of the surgery team

This technology is not just been used for brain surgery, but also for kidney disorders. In China, a medical team has been able to use a 3D printer to to print kidneys, but these were not plastic replicas; they were printed from cultured cells and a nutrient rich hydrogel.

3D printing technology is revolutionising modern medicine, and this ground breaking technology is only set to offer new opportunities for medical progress in the future.

Read more about it here: JIPMER doctors to use 3D printers to fix skull deformities