Man Becomes World’s First Recipient of 3D Printed Sternum and Ribs

A cancer patient has become the world’s first person to receive a 3D printed sternum and ribs.

The surgical team at Salamanca University Hospital in Salamanca, Spain asked for help from Australian firm Anatomics to design a customizable implant.

Using high-resolution CT Scans, the Anatomics team designed a custom built implant to replace the man’s own bones which had been ravaged by cancer. They also designed a 3D model of the man’s chest with the tumor attached to help surgeons minimize damage to surrounding bone and tissue.

The 54-year-old’s surgery was ultimately a success and he has already been discharged from the hospital.

According to CSIRO Adam Knight more complex implants will soon become common in medicine thanks to 3D printing technology.

“When you’re waiting for life-saving surgery this is the definitely the order of the day,” he said, “The advantage of 3D printing is its rapid prototyping.”