A four-year-old Pune girl's damaged skull has been replaced with a customised 3-D individualised polyethylene bone made by a US-based company. The artificial skull was made as per the exact measurements and shape of the girl's skull.
Doctors claim that it is the first of its kind successful surgery in India.
The girl sustained a serious head injury in a road accident on May 31, 2017. She was discharged after undergoing two critical surgeries but was re-admitted for the skull implant surgery which was completed on May 18 this year.
The mother of the child has said that she now attends school regularly and is back to her normal chirpy self.
According to a doctor who treated the child initially, the impact of the accident was so severe that she was brought to the hospital unconscious and bleeding profusely.
She was immediately put on a ventilator and the CT scan revealed that her brain had severe swelling with the rear bone of her skull fractured and a piece of it compressing the brain, causing excess accumulation of fluid in spaces of the brain.
Even after the girl's condition didn't improve after 48 hours of admission, neurosurgeons operated on her and removed the full frontal as well as partial parietal and temporal bones of the damaged skull resulting in releasing pressure on the brain.
Usually, the removed bone is re-implanted after the swelling goes, but owing to the child's age and the brittleness of the bone, it was discarded.
After the surgery, the girl started responding to the treatment and slowly recovered. She was discharged after two months.
However, the significant cavity on the sides and back of the skull made her emotionally disturbed and she stopped mingling with her friends.
Hence, doctors used a custom-made cranial implant to reconstruct cranial cavities. The material selected for the implant was polyethylene which is biocompatible, porous and light-weight.
The doctors say the implant would allow for normal skull expansion as the skull grows. It would also allow the surrounding tissue to grow normally.