3D Printing pushes the boundary by creating an entire rib cage

What can’t a 3D Printer do? A 54-year old Spanish man suffering from cancer — chest wall carcinoma it is called — had to have his entire rib cage removed as part of his treatment. But instead of a debilitated and crippled patient, the surgical team had another answer. The Spanish medical team sent his CT scan to a 3D-printing company called Anatomics in Australia.

Here is the story as told on the Doctor’s Channel and YouTube:

Why is this hot? As with so many technologies that are moving from concept to reality, 3D Printing has been a topic of high expectation and wide discussion in healthcare — when will it print skin, organs, how far can we take it? The other trend here is the globalization of healthcare. The digital revolution of communication allows for nearly instant connection between teams that may have never been able to benefit each other — let alone a patient!

Anatomics makes so many types of body implants, replacements, enhancements, it is like looking at the GE of 3D Printing.

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True, there is a Frankenstein question that one has to ask: how many of my body parts will end up being replaced as I age or get sick? But if you are the patient laying there wondering what life will be like, whether you will have a life at all, a manufactured set of ribs made in Australia seems like a moment of light in the darkness. In the end, all healthcare advances are the advancement of hope.