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AIIMS doctors replace hip joint using 3D printed implant

AIIMS doctors replace hip joint using 3D printed implant

A multi-disciplinary team of AIIMS-Delhi doctors consisting of orthopedic and vascular surgeons and critical care specialists has successfully performed a hip joint replacement surgery using a 3D printed medical implant. The surgery is touted to be the first of its kind in India.

The eight-hour-long surgery was performed on 40-year-old Amit Bahnot using 3D printing technology. The patient was admitted to the hospital with severely damaged pelvic bone.

The team consisting of critical care specialists, professor Anjan Trikha and Dr. Manpreet Kaur, and professor of surgery, Dr. Biplab Mishra had planned for the surgery for five months. The dimensions for the implant was worked out through a CT scan and then fed into a computer to create the perfect fit implant.

“It was a complicated surgery because his pelvic bone was badly damaged,” said Dr Rajesh Malhotra, professor and head of orthopaedic department.

“I had full faith in the doctors,” said Amit Bahnot, the patient.

 “The patient lost a lot of blood during surgery and we had to transfuse about 15 units of blood and blood products. He was in the intensive care unit for three days post surgery,” said Prof Trikha.

“First we modelled the defect and then modelled the implant. We kept fine tuning it and after six-seven attempts we finally got what was perfect for him,” Dr Malhotra said.

“Very few centres around the world use 3D printing technology for creating hip joint implants. We tried it because the patient had no other choice because of a botched up surgery in which a significant portion of his pelvic bone was removed,” he said, adding that off-the-shelf implants would not have fit him.

Perfect fit also increases the longevity of the implant due to the reduction in wear and tear. Normally, an implant can last up to 15 years. Implants created through 3D printing are essentially the same as normal implants, only a better fit. The implant cost Rs 2 lakh but it would have cost around Rs 20 lakh abroad.

“Like robotics, 3-D modelling is the future of medical landscape,” said Dr Malhotra.

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