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Success Story: Custom Cranioplasty Transforms Patient's Life

Reducing surgical risks and restoring patients’ lives to normal

Imagine one day, when the unexpected turns into reality – would you be prepared?

Even if you had to undergo a craniectomy?

Ms. Benjawan is a 33-year-old woman who has undergone craniectomy and cranial reconstruction with Meticuly’s titanium cranioplasty solution. In this article, she shares her story:

In the year 2011, Ms. Benjawan noticed an unusual bulge on her skull, which she initially dismissed as a result of accidental collisions. However, as time passed, the bulging did not subside. It was not until 2018-2019 that Ms. Benjawan noticed irregularities in her head and forehead’s structure in photos, where the protrusion was extremely obvious. During that time, she had her annual health check-up, so she decided to voice out her concerns to the doctor, leading to examinations that revealed the presence of a tumour.

The condition caused her to have headaches and discomfort in the area of protrusion. The frequency of these headaches affected her emotional state at times, making her feel that her “body was fragile”. Most noticeably, whenever Ms. Benjawan went out and interacted with others, she was often faced with questions about her irregularly shaped skull. “Why is your skull bulging? Why does your face look abnormal?”, they asked, adding to her concerns and leading her to worry about potential future developments. “What will happen to me? Will it spread to my eyes, and even more?”

All these factors contributed to her anxiety and insecurity, leading to hesitance about living with this condition. Therefore, she sought medical treatment, monitored her symptoms and decided to visit another hospital.

Discovering titanium cranial mesh after facing the prospect of craniectomy

After consulting with the distinguished surgeon Dr. Kidakorn Kiranantawat and neurosurgeon Dr. Sorayouth Chumnanvej at Ramathibodi Hospital, the doctors diagnosed Ms. Benjawan with a cranial tumour that required surgical removal. This meant that she would need a cranial implant to replace the removed bone and restore her skull back to its original shape. She shares that she initially was “very scared, and asked the doctor if she could use her own skull as an implant, as she was hesitant to use any other material, fearing that it would not integrate with her body”. Her doctor reassured her that titanium implants had the lowest rate of potential infection, leading to her researching more about them. Ms. Benjawan admits that “truthfully, I wasn’t confident at the start”, but she began looking more into titanium implants, seeking opinions from other hospitals as well as individuals who have undergone similar procedures. Learning that one of her acquaintances had a titanium bone implant in their arm, and “has lived normally for 10-20 years”, strengthened her determination.

Eventually, Ms. Benjawan made the courageous choice to undergo cranioplasty with a titanium implant, with the hope of “restoring the skull to its original shape”.

Her doctors contacted Meticuly, to design and manufacture a titanium cranioplasty that would fit Ms. Benjawan’s anatomical contour. Leveraging 3D printing, the entire process from design to production, including the equipment for the surgical procedure, was fine-tuned for precision. This allowed for the cranioplasty procedure to be completed with ease, as well as reducing surgical time and risks.

Life after the craniectomy and cranioplasty solution

After the surgery, Ms. Benjawan recounts that her life was back to normal, free from any headaches and pain. “The people who used to notice the abnormalities and protrusion in my cranial structure no longer comment about it. It looks as if the craniectomy never even happened.” She continued to share about her newfound freedom, stating, “I can style my hair like I used to – previously, I had to hide my cranial irregularity with my hair. Even more, I can wear helmets without any discomfort when I ride motorcycles, something I wasn’t able to do before due to the protrusion.”

Ms. Benjawan’s journey undergoing craniectomy and cranioplasty with Meticuly’s cranioplasty solution represents a testament to the collaborative efforts of all parties in helping her regain a high quality of life. It is a story of transformation, where physical discomfort and mental unease were replaced with relief and a return to normalcy, contributing to Ms. Benjawan’s improved mental well-being and overall satisfaction in her daily life. These results underscore the effectiveness of the surgical procedure – a combined effort of both the medical team and Meticuly – as well as the effectiveness of the technology and titanium cranial mesh used.

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