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3d printed rib implant saves a life at Tokuda Hospital, Bulgaria

A young patient with a rare disease saved by an unprecedented rib surgery with 3d reconstruction.

An innovative surgical procedure to reconstruct the rib of a patient was carried out by chest surgeons at Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital. The 3D printed implant replaced the removed neoplastically changed rib. The design of the 3D model and its visualization were conducted with the participation of the Bulgarian company 3Dbgprint providing 3D services. Within one month, after multiple tests, the team of 3Dbgprint managed to get successful results and to print the new rib.

The patient was a 35-year-old man with progressive deformity in the area of the fifth right rib accompanied by swelling. The medical examinations and the X-ray scans showed an osseous formation of unknown origin. Later, the histological results revealed a benign fibrous dysplasia. The best solution was to remove the formation to prevent the possibility of fast malignant growth or complications such as breathing difficulties, frequent rib fractures, or involvement of the surrounding tissues, etc. The removal of the rib had to be followed by a plastic reconstruction procedure. It was in this part of the surgery that Assoc. Prof. Tsvetan Minchev, Head of the Chest Surgery Clinic at Tokuda Hospital, applied the innovative method. A surgery of this kind had never been done in Bulgaria, and on a global scale it had only been applied in a few other cases with a different material and a different localization.

The new rib is made from a synthetic copolymer biocompatible material approved for use by the American Food and Drug Administration. The three-dimensional modeling and printing of the implant, which should replace the rib, provides absolute anatomical compatibility and precision in implantation. Through a preliminary 3D visualization by the team of Prof. Galina Kirova in the Clinic of Imaging Diagnostics, a digital model and the necessary file for three-dimensional printing were prepared. The implant is produced in Bulgaria by 3Dbgprint with the help of a specialized professional 3D printer with the possibility of printing with great precision. The individually designed model provides very precise implantation at the site of the removed rib in anatomical unity with adjacent tissues.

“This is a new era in thoracic wall reconstruction in patients with tumors that require bone-cartilage structures to be cut. This approach allows an extremely accurate anatomical recovery of the skeletal part of the chest wall by creating a preliminary tree-dimentional visualization and producing a 3D machine printout file. The material used has proven tissue compatibility. The accuracy of reproduction allows for large chest wall resections and their single substitution with individually designed implants.”

Prof. Minchev.

‘’Up till now the sails used in such operations for replacing skeletal structures in the chest wall do not have the necessary resistance and anatomical precision, which subsequently results in unpleasant defects depending on the volume of cut tissue.“

Prof. Minchev.


Media: – 3d printed rib implant saves a life at Tokuda Hospital, Bulgaria – Case study. 3d printed rib. Implanted in the human body. – Bulgarian Doctors Implant First 3D Printed Rib – Patient Receives a 3D Printed Rib for the First Time in Bulgaria – Patient successfully receives first ever 3d-printed rib implant – Patient Receives a 3D Printed Rib for the First Time in Bulgaria

Source: 3dbgprint

Author avatar
Georgi Tolev

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