Awesome Stories

Wow! A Cat in Washington Gets a 3D Printed Skull

A medical success story in the face of overwhelming odds. That’s a purrfect way to describe Linus the cat’s very innovative, yet intense, surgery.

Linus was brought to Washington State University with not one, but three brain tumors. “In my 15 years here, I have never seen three separate meningiomas in a cat,” Dr. Annie Chen-Allen told KXLY News. The marble-sized tumors were putting pressure on Linus’ brain and causing him extreme pain. So, the tabby and white kitty went into surgery to have the tumors removed. However, there was a complication during the surgery. After removing the second tumor, Linus’ brain began to swell so much that they had to stop – and doctors were unable to replace the part of his skull they had removed.

KXLY News reported, “I was very concerned Linus wouldn’t wake up from surgery,” said Chen-Allen, who was aided by closely by her resident Dr. Jessica Chavera, “but to our surprise within 20 minutes he was awake, and to our surprise again within the next 24 hours Linus was looking around and moving around.”

The team at WSU eventually realized Linus was going to pull through, so they scheduled him for another surgery to have the third tumor removed. But, they had to solve the issue of covering his brain up after surgery was done.

They used modern innovation to create a model of Linus’ skull and then 3D printed a new skull for him.

The surgery was a success. It’s been four months and KXLY reports that Linus is now healthy but he will have to go through radiation treatments to make sure none of the tumors regrow.


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