OU Health Makes Surgical History

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OU Health Makes Surgical History

OU Health thoracic oncologic surgeon, completed the first surgery of its kind in Oklahoma, using 3-D printing to replace the bones in a patient's chest.

A first at OU Health and possibly the first such procedure in the state, Matthew Reinersman, M.D., OU Health thoracic oncologic surgeon, recently completed a reconstructive surgery using components generated by 3-D printing technology.

Dr. Matthew Reinersman

Life-saving cancer surgery required resection of a patient’s sternum, but the resulting gap in the bony structure was a source of pain, making everything from breathing and speaking difficult. The patient had undergone two previous reconstructions, but available materials were not rigid enough to contain bulging lung tissue, which caused considerable discomfort.

Dr. Reinersman implanted the titanium segments crafted specifically for this patient. CT scans provided accurate images of the defect and a sterile model was designed to ensure a precision fit before the final prosthetic was printed and placed. Relief was nearly instantaneous. Dr. Reinersman worked for months with an Indiana-based lab based to create a titanium sternum bone.

“It's a pretty ingenious concept. There are plates that go between ribs, screwed into the plate and then into her ribs. Other plates are placed for stability of the whole structure," Reinersman said. "It was amazing in that it fit exactly – like it was her own natural sternum."

Read more about this extraordinary surgery.