Marc is happy again now he has his custom cranial plate


…having suffered for six years and knowing it could have been less than one
This happened to Marc Jacob.

A significant impact

In August 2004, Marc, a healthy 21 year old, was riding his bicycle when suddenly a woman stepped onto the road in his path. He swerved to avoid her, lost control over the bicycle and fell to the ground with his head first. This impact caused traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural effects. People can recover completely, but they can also end up with permanent disabilities or even die as a result.
After being held in a coma for one and a half weeks, Marc recalls having trouble speaking, concentrating and remembering the accident. To help him with these difficulties, he received physical, speech, recreation and occupational therapy. In September of that same year, Marc was supposed to start his bachelor’s studies. Due to the accident, this was no longer possible. He instead entered an intensive re-integration course and soon after he started applying for jobs. However, it was clear that Marc was not able to keep up with the pace of everyday life. As a result of this, he lost his new job the following year. Within his social life, he also had to accept new changes; the many operations limited the time he had to spend with his friends. And so he was robbed of the opportunity to keep and to make new friends at work or while studying for a degree. During his hospitalisation, two parts of his skull were removed to give his brain space and prevent brain herniation and consequently death.

Too many surgeries

In November 2004, the neurosurgeons reimplanted the original bone parts removed during the first surgery, a standard procedure. However, one and a half year later, one of these reimplanted bone parts failed and was completely resorbed. This resulted in major deformations on the right side of his face and skull. In April 2006, the right side of his skull was reconstructed using bone cement. In April 2008, the second bone part resorbed as well, leaving the left side of his face and skull deformed.

Happy end

In April 2010, he finally received a patient-specific implant to correct this deformation. The standard procedure described above should be replaced with a patient-specific implant treatment. In Marc’s case, this would have meant two operations less. Marc is convinced that all future cases should use a patient-specific implant to lessen the major impact on patients’ private lives. Thanks to Xilloc and the Department of CranioMaxilloFacial Surgery at Maastricht University Medical Centre, Marc was able to get his tailor-made implant. He can now live his life again as we all do!

* Patient-Specific Implant surgery performed by Prof. Dr. Dr. Kessler

“It felt like a pit stop, surgery went really fast”
Marc Jacob