Liu Li has been suffering from osteoma in her forehead since the age of 6. Osteoma is a benign tumor that has been growing on her skull, for which she has already undergone two surgeries. This bone growth was on the right side of her forehead and it grew back each time after the surgeries. She underwent the first surgery at the age of 6 and the second one at the age of 11.
Liu Li always covered her head because of her medical condition and had lost all hope after the second surgery failed. A team of doctors in a southwest hospital in China gave her some hope. They suggested that a titanium 3D skull implant could be the solution to the problem. Associate Professor Chu Wei-Hua from the Department of Neurosurgery examined Li and explained that Liu Li’s osteoma was located in the forehead region. This resulted in pressure on the patient’s brain tissues if it kept growing on. Removing the bone growth was essential to Li’s health, as the tumor could slowly lead to various neurological dysfunctions.
In order to prevent the tumor from resurfacing, the doctors decided to remove the patient’s affected skull area. They would then fit a custom skull 3D implant on the area that was removed. CT scans of Li were taken to design the skull implant. The titanium skull implant measured 9 cm by 6 cm. It had to be reverse engineered and designed as per the specifications of the left side of the skull. The skull cutaway had to be precisely matched with the size of the titanium implant. The implant was secured using titanium nails.
The patient’s skin was finally sutured. Li has been recovering well and this 3D implant is one of its kind.