The operation of a dog with cancer has run these days ink rivers in the Canadian and international media. Patches, that's the name of the female teckel - a breed known as hot dog- has been operated by Dr. Michelle Oblak and Dr. Galina Hayes of a multilobular osteochondrosarcoma of the head - a type of canine bone tumor - that dangerously pressed the brain and eye socket of the animal. Removal of the tumor required the removal of 70% of his skull. Up to here everything normal. The novelty is the solution that occurred to these researchers of the Ontario College of Veterinarians: implant a titanium plate printed in 3D to replace the damaged skull.
To implement this procedure, which represents an interesting advance in research not only against animal cancer, but also human, both professionals, belonging to the University of Guelph (Canada), needed to know the exact measurements of the tumor and its location, so that which required the help of an engineer from the Advanced Manufacturing Design and Technology Center of Sheridan College.
After having all these data, a company located in London that is dedicated to the 3D medical printing, called ADEISS, printed a titanium plate in 3D for medical use, which made possible the immediate replacement of the Patches skull by this prosthesis. The anesthesia administered to the dog made her sedated for five hours and, according to the doctors, only half an hour after the surgery was already fully active.
Thanks to this technique, having prepared in advance the piece printed in 3D, could reduce the amounts of anesthesia and risks in patients with tumors
A new and faster method that could be applied in humans
The great success of this surgery against cancer is in the substitution of the moment of the skull in contact with the tumor, since, until now, the procedure that is usually done to animals and people with this problem is to remove the affected area , assess the size of the future titanium mesh and print it later in the operating room, which means that the patient is asleep for many more hours, which means a lot of anesthesia, with the risks involved.
In addition, Dr. Oblak explains, this case could help implant the same procedure in humans who have tumors in areas such as the head, extremities, deformities after fractures or other traumas. In addition, to be able to perform these procedures on animals, valuable information is obtained that can be used to improve the safety of these implants in people.