AIIMS doctors perform first 3D Printed implant hip joint replacement surgery.
Doctors at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Delhi have successfully performed a hip joint replacement surgery using a 3D printed medical implant. This first of its kind surgery in the country has been done be a multi-disciplinary team constituting of orthopaedic and vascular surgeons and critical care specialists at the Institute.
The surgery was performed on a 40 year old patient who had a badly damaged pelvic bone. The highly complicated procedure took eight long hours and was done on April 25th. Dr. Rajesh Malhotra, Professor and Head of Orthopaedic Department was part of the team of doctors who replaced the patient’s (Amit Bahnot) right hip joint with a near perfect 3D printed implant.
“This is the first time anyone in India has used this technology to create a near-perfect implant for a patient,” says Dr. Malhotra.
The surgery involved a lot of planning before the final procedure day. The patient had to remain in the ICU for three days post surgery.
The doctors further explained how the implant was created. First the defect had to be modelled perfectly then the implant was designed and modelled for replacement. Doctors worked out the dimensions for the implant through a CT scan and fed into a computer to create the perfect fit implant. It needed a lot of work and several attempts of fine tuning before they finally got what could possibly be perfectly supportive and caring for the patient.
The most popular among such surgeries is the use of off-the-shelf implants to replace hip joint. In this particular case, since a major part of Bahnot’s pelvic bone was earlier removed in a previous surgery, it became a hard choice to use the off-the-shelf implants to much advantage. “Very few centres around the world use 3D printing technology for creating hip joint implants. We tried it because the patient had no other choice because of a botched up surgery,” explains Dr. Malhotra.
3D printed implants have obvious advantages over off-the-shelf implants. The key advantages are the technology’s capability to create implants as per individual patient’s need. The modelling and precision printing techniques make the implants near perfect and are one of the most advanced implant creating techniques available. The use of 3D printing in medical industry has a long way to go given the ease, cost-effectiveness and ready to use capabilities for the benefit of health and care industry and patients world over.
Samir Patkar is new MD of Heidelberg India
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