AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Patient Receives 3-D Printed Skull after Traumatic Brain Injury

After two months in a coma, Chris Cahill, 35, of New Brunswick, New Jersey woke up confused about where he was and what had happened to him. Cahill was found unconscious from unknown trauma resulting in severe injuries to his frontal lobe, with brain swelling so dramatic it was life threatening, explained to Gaurav Gupta, MD, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Gupta performed emergent surgery on Cahill to relieve the brain swelling with the intent of replacing the skull after the swelling subsided. However, the patient’s own skull was infected and as a result was unusable. At that point, Dr. Gupta decided the best solution to replace the missing skull bone was to use 3-D printing.

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