Baby girl receives custom artificial skull

Updated: 2015-07-16 15:22

By Su Zhou(

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The surgery to replace an enlarged cranium to save a three-year-old girl who has been suffering congenital hydrocephalus was successfully performed on July 15 in Hunan province, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The surgery, which took more than 17 hours, was the first successful case in the country. The hospital replaced the enlarged cranium with a 3D reconstruction titanium mesh.

Now the girl has been sent to an intensive care unit for post procedure observation and further treatment.

The child, who had 85 percent of her skull filled with cerebrospinal fluid, had a head that was nearly four times the size of a normal infant. Her body could not support her head so she could only lie down on the bed. Since last September, the back side of her head was seriously affected due to the constant pressure placed on it. Besides, the girl had almost lost her sight since last October because of an optic nerve injury.

On May 17, the girl was transferred to the Second People's Hospital of Hunan Province where the infection as well as the hydrocephalus situation was under control. However, her skull was too thin and she could die at any minute.

Kuang Weiping, the doctor of that hospital, said the surgery was akin to opening an egg without damaging the egg membrane and keeping the white and yolk inside the egg.