A child with a brain outside the skull manages to save his life thanks to 3D printing


Cases that until now were very difficult for surgeons to solve now seem to have much simpler solutions or at least a much higher success rate thanks to 3D printing. With this in mind, today I want to present the case to you Bentley yoder, a small North American baby who was born with his brain outside his head. An extreme case that the parents already knew from the twenty-second week of pregnancy, just when they were informed by the doctors that her baby would come into the world with a hole in her head which practically limited their options for living.

After several days of being informed and making a decision, the young Bentley's parents decided not to resort to abortion and to end the pregnancy. As expected, when the time came the young man was born with the brain outside his head due to a congenital disease known as encephalocele which is nothing more than the fact that a diverticulum of the brain tissue and the meninges comes out of the skull through some hole and develops on the outside. This usually causes the death of the fetus at birth or within a few hours.

According to the baby's parents, at birth the doctors told them that their little son was «incompatible with life»But, miraculously, the days went by and the only thing that little Bentley showed were symptoms of the opposite, he had enormous strength and a unique survival instinct that made him live for more than seven months thanks to John mara, a doctor from Boston Children's Hospital who had already performed surgeries in similar cases throughout the United States.

To save the life of little Bentley, John Meara decided to create a plan with which fully open the Bentley skull as if it were a flower in such a way that it could welcome the brain inside. To close the skull again, he decided to take two segments of it and criss-cross them in the upper part of the baby's head. To test his idea, the surgeon used a 3D printer, which allowed him to create a model and study it carefully, doing the necessary tests.

After all this and finding a way to intervene little Bentley they still found a new problem and that is that they needed the baby to grow a little more so that the skull was strong enough to withstand the intervention. If you wait too long, the encephalocele could rupture, causing the immediate death of the baby. The intervention finally occurred at 7 months of age being a success Although there are still two more surgeries to spare until Bentley's skull is completely healthy.

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