ONTARIO, CANADA — Doctors in Canada used 3D-printing technology to replace a dog's skull with titanium following major cancer surgery.
According to an article released by the University of Guelph, a 9-year-old dachshund named Patches had a large tumor growing into her skull, pushing dangerously close to her brain and eye socket.
Using an innovative new approach, University of Guelph researchers used rapid prototyping to print out a 3D model of Patches' head and tumor.
This enabled veterinary surgeons to do a test run of the tumor removal, and create a custom fitted titanium plate to replace the parts of the skull that would be lost.
Because of the technique, what would have been a lengthy surgery took only four hours, with Patches waking up just 30 minutes after the procedure.
The procedure is believed to be the first of its kind in North America, and marks an advancement in veterinary medicine that researchers say can also be useful in human medicine.