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Cancer Patient Receives 3D-Printed Rib Cage In World First

09/14/2015 02:09 EDT | Updated 09/14/2015 05:59 EDT

A cancer patient became the world's first person to receive a 3D-printed rib cage.

The 54-year-old Spanish man suffered from a chest wall sarcoma and had to have part of his ribcage removed, RT reports.

Surgeons at Salamanca University Hospital in Spain turned to Australian medical device company Anatomics to have a chest transplant specially designed for the man's body because traditionally-manufactured implants can run the risk of becoming loose over time, causing complications in the future.

The team from Australia designed the titanium implant using scans of the patient's rib cage, then used a 3D printer from Australia's national science agency to create it, according to the U.K. Mirror.

"The operation was very successful. Thanks to 3D printing technology and a unique resection template, we were able to create a body part that was fully customised and fitted like a glove," Dr. José Aranda from Salamanca University Hospital said in a press release.

The surgery went so well that the patient was discharged after only 12 days in hospital, according to Canada Journal.

Watch the video above to see what other breakthroughs 3D printing has made in medicine.

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