Doctors at a Gurugram hospital performed an implant of a custom-made 3D-printed hip on a 60-year-old patient named Hanifa from Tanzania. The Tanzania woman had a damaged pelvic bone and she had undergone three hip surgeries. The surgeries had damaged her pelvic bone further and now she had little bone support for pre-existing hip implants available. After securing financial support from the government, she approached the team of the doctor Subhash Jangid at Fortis Memorial Research Institute. Jangid told her that the only solution was a custom-made 3D-printed hip bone.
Once the 3D-printed prototype was ready, doctors conducted a seven-hour-long surgery to successfully implant the artificial pelvic bone.
“This is the first time such a large 3D printed customized implant has been used for hip surgery in India,” said Jangid, the lead doctor of the surgery team, in a statement to news agency ANI. According to Jangid, the medical case was very rare and complicated. As important nerves and vessels were very close to the limb, they required a meticulous dissection so that their functioning could be well-preserved. Any damage to these vessels could either threaten the patient’s life by severe bleeding or cause paralysis in the limb.
Jangid’s team conducted several tests and discussed with engineers about the 3D-printed prosthesis. After 15 days, they had the 3d-printed pelvic bone, certified and passed through quality checks.
During the seven-hour surgery, Doctors had to safely manage to work in the presence of scar tissue from the previous surgery while preventing important vessels and nerves, urinary bladder and other pelvic organs from damage. During this intense procedure, a team of anaesthetists maintained the vitals of the patient. The doctors managed to perform the surgery with just four units of blood.
Jangid claimed that the post-operative recovery period of the patient was very smooth and she started walking the next day, though she needed support. With the new implant, her shortened leg was made equal. After the surgery, the patient flew to her home country on a special flight.