A 20-month-old child’s life was saved recently thanks to a couple smart doctors equipped with a bioresorbable material and a 3-D printer, which he used to create a tube to insert in the child’s trachea that allowed him to continue breathing.
Little Kaiba Gionfriddo was born with a condition that caused his trachea to collapse, according to a video detailing the case (embedded below), released Wednesday by the University of Michigan Health System. His case was so severe that for a time his survival was in question and doctors didn’t know what to do.
In stepped Drs. Glenn Green and Scott Hollister, who took highly detailed scans of the boy’s trachea and used the 3-D model to create a tube that would fit perfectly and act as a splint to let the child’s lungs function normally. Using a material called polycaprolactone, which gradually reabsorbs into the body over about three years, they printed out the trachea splint and went into surgery, hoping for the best.
“It was amazing. As soon as the splint was put in, the lungs started going up and down for the first time and we knew he was going to be OK,” Green said in an advisory.
They expect Kaiba to make a full recovery.
This video is from the University of Michigan Health System, published Wednesday, May 22, 2013.