Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Ceramic implant inserted in skull

Linda Butt
The implant will allow doctors to monitor the remaining tumours

A police officer is thought to be the first person in the UK to have part of her skull replaced with a ceramic implant.

Pc Linda Butt, 45, underwent surgery after she was diagnosed with five brain tumours and surgeons had to cut away part of her skull to get to them.

The £5,000 ceramic plate will in time knit together with the remaining bone.

The operation was carried out by consultant neurosurgeon Tony Belli at Southampton General Hospital.

Dr Belli described the ceramic as a similar material to a bathroom tile but far more expensive.

He added that because the implant is transparent - unlike a metal one - doctors can monitor the remaining tumours in Mrs Butt's brain.

A ceramic skull implant
Mrs Butt said the implant used to lift up when she went to bed

Pc Butt, from Southampton, was working in a police cycling team when she was diagnosed with the tumours after noticing a bump on her head.

The mother-of-two, who is still receiving treatment for two tumours, has been allowed to return to work as a station support officer near her home.

"It used to lift up when I went to bed but it has settled down now after about 18 months since the operation," she said.

"I call it Armitage after the ceramic bathroom maker Armitage Shanks.

"I have never had any pain from it and I didn't mind being a guinea pig as I put my trust in the consultant and he is very good."

Dr Belli said: "It is 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."



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