[Content Note: Descriptions and imagery (at link) of surgery.]

Shaker Erin M sent me this remarkable story about a woman with a bone disorder whose life has been immediately and immeasurably improved by a 3-D printed skull. Before I even post the link, I'm going to share Erin's perfect content note from her email, which I'm posting with her permission: "The top of that page has a very large close-up image of her head taken immediately post-op. There are surgical drapes that have what is possibly blood but may be spinal fluid or both, not a lot, but it's clearly visible. Her brain is somewhat visible through the clear implant. There is operating room equipment visible in the background."

It's not a particularly graphic image, in my estimation, but it's SO HUGE and right at the top of the page that I wanted to offer a clear heads-up. So, that being said, here's the link to the story: "Neurosurgeons successfully implant 3D printed skull."

And if you don't want to click through at all, here's the amazing gist of it:
A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder -- which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches -- has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant.

The operation was performed by a team of neurosurgeons at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the university claims this is this first instance of a successful 3D printed cranium that has not been rejected by the patient.

The operation, which took 23 hours, was led by Dr Bon Verweij. The patient's skull was so thick, that had the operation not been performed, serious brain damage or death may have occurred in the near future.

...The skull was made specifically for the patient using an unspecified durable plastic. Since the operation, the patient has gained her sight back entirely, is symptom-free and back to work.

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