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Ceramic implant for woman’s skull


A pioneering operation to replace part of the skull with a ceramic implant that can heal itself if it is ever fractured has been undertaken for the first time in the UK.

The £5,000 ceramic plate should knit together with Pc Linda Butt’s skull and will bond with the bone and heal if it breaks. The 45-year-old from Southampton was diagnosed with brain tumours, and surgeons cut away much of her skull to get to them.

Mrs Butt, who worked in a police cycling team, is still receiving treatment for two tumours, with one behind the optic nerve and one of the original five, but said the plate had worked. Tony Belli, a consultant neurosurgeon at Southampton General Hospital, conducted the operation.

Dr Belli said the benefit of using the ceramic implant was that it was see-through, unlike a metal one, so doctors can monitor the remaining tumours in Mrs Butt’s brain.

“It’s so much like natural bone in that if you fracture it, it will heal over and in time the bone will grow into the ceramic and knit together.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Southampton General Hospital


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