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Surgeons at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, have fitted a 3D printed sternum implant in a patient to help repair their breastbone.
Linda Edwards, a 52-year-old mental health support worker from Fleetwood, Lancashire, suffered from a collapsed breastbone following complications in a previous surgery. She was told, shortly after, that it could not be put back together. 3D printing, however, became a suitable alternative.
Ehab - Bishay - Consultant - Thoracic - Surgeon
Contacting Ehab Bishay, consultant thoracic surgeon at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), Edwards was eventually able to undergo the 3D printed sternum procedure. It involved replacing part of her damaged rib cage with a 3D printed titanium prosthesis.
“I woke up from the operation feeling terrible and, at one point, I thought I had died,” Edwards told the Blackpool Gazette, “but,” she adds, “I am feeling better every day. I still feel numb because I am on a lot of drugs, but the main thing is my ribcage doesn’t keep shifting about.”
IT - FEELS - INCREDIBLE - AN - OPERATION
“IT FEELS INCREDIBLE I HAVE HAD AN OPERATION AS ADVANCED AS THIS.”
Digital rendering of the 3D printed titanium sternum implant. Image via Daily Mail.
Edwards - GP - Complaining - Indigestion - Heartburn
In 2016, Edwards contacted her GP complaining of indigestion and heartburn, where she was ultimately diagnosed with angina, a condition that causes reduced blood flow to the heart muscles. She underwent a heart bypass surgery, in which surgeons cut open her sternum to access affected organs. After the operation, surgeons pieced the breastbone together using wires, however these failed to hold and Edwards’ sternum consequently collapsed. Following an additional failed procedure in February 2017, Edwards was forced to look elsewhere due to the pain caused by her damaged rib cage.
She contacted Bishay on Facebook after watching a documentary on the surgeon’s work regarding 3D printed transplants. “It was out of sheer desperation that I contacted Mr Bishay because...
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