Something that is becoming very popular within the medical industry is the application of 3D printed medical implants. Medical implants are typically artificial substitutes of damaged body parts that are implanted into the body as temporary or in some case permanent solutions.
Honed over the years by doctors across the world, implants are a common medical procedure that is performed. The process has become even more reliable with the introduction of 3D printing and quickly becoming the go-to process that surgeons across the world are going to
Even though surgeons are relying more on 3D printed medical implants, the cases are all unique for reach patient, which is very important. Implants have become a part of the human anatomy, so all cases must be studied and resolved from a case-to-case basis. Attentiveness is important when it comes to the doctors involved, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Since all the medical implants are on a case-to-case basis, doctors and surgeons always rely on custom-made medical implants. The limitation for permanent implants are the materials, and custom shapes and sizes make these medical implants also costly. Casting or traditional metal powder are the common process used to manufacture conventional implants.
This only adds to the overall costs for the medical implant, limiting the access to the common public. Finally, the process involves a significant amount of manual intervention, which brings its imperfections that may lead to additional complications for the patient.
So, as we can see, the conventional process could be messy and is not the most ideal process, though it has been used for quite a bit.
The process has been simplified due to the introduction of 3D printing technology. Doctors can now be assisted by 3D printing professionals that truly understand the process, the use of software, material selections and of course other critical factors that are important for the medical implants.
This new process makes the doctor’s work a whole lot easier compared to the conventional method. The benefit of 3D printed medical implants is clear, it can be very patient-specific which is what doctors truly appreciate most of the new method, how specific they can get when it comes to the medical implants.
It can be personalized and customized to meet the patients needs. You can 3D print the medical implants perfectly, assuring the patient does not feel any discomfort. Additionally safeguards the patience from any chance or possibility of future infections. Personalization is in this instant the clear advantage of patient-specific implants.
Another interesting advantage of 3D printed implant is that the weight can also be customized. A lightweight implant can be produced by implementing good topology optimization techniques. A clear advantage could be the fact that the porosity can be customized of the medical implant. Allowing the space for tissue to grow over the plant. In this instance the weight is one of the benefits.
Considered the most important of all the benefits, the introduction of 3D printed implants could reduce not only the surgical costs, but additional to that, it also reduces surgery time, chances of injuries and infections, and lastly blood loss during operations. Reduced surgical costs is certainly a benefit that 3D printed medical implants brings with it.
Lastly, hospitals don’t need to keep 3D printed medical implants ready, on location or in storage. They can always be manufactured on demand and could be delivered within a couple of days. On-demand manufacturing is certainly a benefit that is crucial to saving time but also could be crucial to saving lives.
With so many advantages, it is easy to understand why it is 3D printing is such an essential asset to the health industry when it comes to medical implants.