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3D printing employed for first time in sacrum tumor surgery

(Chinanews.com)    15:51, July 10, 2015
A 3D-printed sacrum is used to help treat sacrum cancer at Peking University People's Hospital. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

A Beijing hospital has performed a world-first, using 3D printing technology to help treat sacrum cancer.

Peking University People's Hospital (PUPH) produced a new sacrum using 3D printing to replace one diagnosed with cancer and surgically removed.

"The sacrum is a critical bone structure that connects the torso with limbs," said Guo Wei, a doctor from the bone tumor department at PUPH. "Once completely removed, there is no longer a connection between the torso and pelvis. After the surgery, the patient may not be able to walk right away or manage other aspects of their life."

Rebuilding the sacrum after surgery is a major obstacle bone tumor professionals globally would like to tackle.

With the help of 3D printing technology, PUPH produced a sacrum, which was inserted in the patient's body after his original sacrum was removed in a four hour operation on Wednesday. It was the first time 3D printing had helped in sacrum tumor surgery.

3D printed replacement parts will continue to improve, said Guo. Medical professionals will correspondingly become more capable at rebuilding a sacrum after surgery.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Yao Chun)

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