For the very first time, doctors have made use of the 3D-printed device, to treat infants suffering from a rare airway disease. The device used, was an airway splint. It was tailor made according to the child’s anatomy, and was designed in such a manner as to adapt over time to the tissue growth. It will eventually end up being absorbed into the child’s body. One of the patients, who had this splint implanted about three years ago, is considered to be completely cured by the doctors.
The disease that the children suffer from is known as trachealbronchomalacia, which is caused due to the weakening or collapsing of the airways. It affects only one child, in every 2000 across the world. The condition prevents the patients from exhaling fully. To overcome the problem, one has to undergo tracheostomies, where doctors insert breathing tubes in their necks, post which the children are assisted by artificial ventilators.
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