In the latest edition of “I’m sorry, they did what?” a team of South Korean surgeons has successfully transplanted a 3D printed skull into a patient. The 60-year-old woman went to Chung-Ang University Hospital in Seoul after she developed a sudden headache, and a CT scan showed that she was suffering from a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage, a rare condition that involves bleeding between the brain and the tissues that cover it. It’s obviously a life-threatening condition, and one that required immediate surgery.
The surgical team, led by Professors Kwon Jeong-tek and Lee Mu-yeol from CAUH’s neurosurgery department, first had to block the blood supply to parts of the brain to prevent further bleeding. They then removed a portion of the patient’s skull to relieve pressure caused by the swelling of the brain. As if things weren’t dire enough for the poor woman, her brain then collapsed in the portion of the skull that had been removed, requiring a skull transplant.