Veterinarians used 3D printer to replace part of a dog's skull

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A dachshund received a new skull and a cancer-free life all because of a 3D printer.

Patches, the 9-year-old dog from Ontario, was suffering from a cancerous skull tumor that was so large it was weighing down her head, and beginning to encroach on her brain and eye socket. The tumor had to come out, but removing it would also mean removing part of the canine’s skull.

Dr. Michelle Oblak, a veterinary surgical oncology with the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, worked with Galina Hayes, a small-animal surgeon at Cornell University. Together, they replaced the missing skull piece with a 3D-printed plate, created by Adeiss, a medical technological company. 

Patches was asleep for about five hours during the surgery, and within half an hour of waking up, she was alert and looking around. Oblak said she hopes her work could someday lay the groundwork for performing similar surgeries in humans.