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3D Printed Face: An Update


In a previous issue, we reported on a pioneering surgery that had been conducted in the UK (Swansea, Wales) by the Centre of Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (Cartis), “which is a collaboration between [doctors in Swansea] and scientists at Cardiff Metropolitan University.”

The BBC ran a recent update on the outcome of that surgery.  When Stephen Power (29) had a motorcycle accident in 2012, he suffered multiple trauma injuries.  “Doctors at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, had to break his cheekbones again before rebuilding his face.”

In order to fully rebuild Mr. Power’s face, they used 3D printed parts, including “custom printed models, guides, plates, and implants to repair impact injuries months after they were sustained…the surgical team used CT scans to create and print a symmetrical 3D model of Mr. Power’s skull, followed by cutting guides and plates printed to match…a medical-grade titanium implant, printed in Belgium, was then used to hold the bones in their new shape.”

Maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar explained the impact of using 3D printing for this operation: “I think it’s incomparable – the results are in a different league from anything we’ve done before.  What this does [is] it allows us to be much more precise.  Everybody now is starting to think in this way – guesswork is not good enough.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of the BBC

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