Custom 3D-printed Titanium Implant for Reconstruction of a Composite Chest and Abdominal Wall Defect

Sara J. Danker, Alexander F. Mericli, David C. Rice, David A. Santos, Charles E. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Three-dimensional (3D) printing of implantable materials is a recent technological advance that is available for clinical application. The most common medical application of 3D printing in plastic surgery is in the field of craniomaxillofacial surgery. There have been few applications of this technology in other areas. Methods: Here, we discuss a case of a large, symptomatic composite thoracic and abdominal defect resulting from the resection of a chondrosarcoma of the costal marginand sections of the abdominal wall, diaphragm, and sternum. The initial and second attempts at reconstruction failed, resulting in a massive hernia. Given the size of the defect, the contiguity with a large abdominal wall defect, and the high risk of recurrence, a rigid thoracic reconstruction was essential to durably repair the thoracic hernia and serve as a scaffold to which both the diaphragm and the abdominal mesh could be secured. A custom-made plate offered the most durable and anatomically accurate reconstruction in this particular clinical scenario. This technology was used in concert with a single section of coated mesh for reconstruction of the diaphragm, chest wall, and abdominal wall. Results: There were no post-operative complications. The patient has improvement of his symptoms and increased functional capacity. There is no evidence of hernia recurrence 1.5 years after repair. Conclusions: 3D printing technology proved to be a useful and effective application for reconstruction of this large thoracic defect involving the costal margin. It is an available technology that should be considered for reconstruction of rigid structures with defect-specific precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3885
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 30 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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