3D printing used by surgeons to reconstruct man’s disfigured face

by Sayan Chakravarty

From NASA’s rocket engine components to Hershey’s chocolates, we have seen 3D printing technology being used in almost every way. As we had said earlier that the technology keeps surprising us, and this time the news related to 3D printing is quite possibly the most staggering and coolest we have ever heard. What appears to be the first time in the medical history, Surgeons were able incorporate 3D printing technology during a facial reconstruction surgery to help a British man who survived a motorcycle accident and had his face disfigured. Surgeons used scanned 3D images of Stephen Power’s face to design guides to cut and position bones, as well as print titanium implants.

Stephen Power’s cheekbone and eye socket were repaired by the team of doctors using the cutting-edge technology to successfully complete the eight-hour operation. For the operation, the surgeons scanned 3D images of his face to design guides to cut and position bones, as well as print titanium implants which were fitted to the Power’s face. The accident victim broke both his arms, both cheeks, both eye sockets and his jaw in a biking accident in September 2012. The surgery was carried out at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales were surgeons used CT scans to recreate Power’s face and then print a symmetrical 3D model of his cranium. “It’s totally life changing,” Power said. “I could see the difference straight away the day I woke up from the surgery…I’ll be able to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, even go to any public areas.”


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