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A claimed world-first surgery involving a removed vertebrae tumour and a replacement, 3D printed implant was performed in December.
The ABC’s 730 reported last night that a chordoma on the top two vertebrae would’ve led to a slow, painful death for the patient. The cancer sufferer would have lost the ability to move his limbs and to speak and eat, Prince of Wales neurosurgeon Dr Robert Mobbs said.
Dr Mobbs told the ABC that the removed area left “a large gap, but we've pre-planned the prosthesis to fit perfectly in place — like a glove.
"And that will form the stability for where the head and the neck meet so his head won't fall off."
The complicated tumour took 15 hours to remove, and the patient, Drage Josevski, currently difficulty eating and speaking. This was a result of having his mouth stretched open for such a long period for the operation. He is expected to recover within six months, according to the report.
The titanium implant was made by Melbourne’s Anatomics, a Melbourne custom bio-implant business that has been involved in other reported world-first surgeries, such as a 2014 titanium heelbone replacement and a sternum and ribcage implant last September.
The company dates back to 1990s PhD research in Brisbane around “stereolithographic biomodelling”.