Lost A Body Part In An Accident? You Can Just 3-D Print A New One!
Doctors in the United Kingdom have officially ushered the world into the 3-D printing age after having completed a facial reconstruction with the use of 3-D printed body parts. The patient, 29 year-old Stephen Power of Cardiff, United Kingdom, had been seriously disfigured in a motorcycle accident, though he was wearing a helmet at the time. The crash left him with a broken jaw, cheek bones, and nose, a fractured skull, and destined to go down in 3-D printing history.
British surgeons relied on CT scans to determine how to restore symmetry to Power’s face. Then 3-D printers were used to print symmetrical models of the parts of Power’s face which needed to be reconstructed, including his jaw and cheeks. The printed parts also included a titanium implant which was used to hold the all of the bones into their new positions. 3-D printing allowed surgeons a level of precision and accuracy which has never before been possible. Unfortunately for Power, surgeons had to re-break his cheekbones in the process of reconstruction, in order to achieve a high level of symmetry.
So, who were the amazing doctors and surgeons who pulled off this incredible feat? The life changing process was actually the result of a collaboration between scientists at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the Maxillofacial Unit at Morriston Hospital – together called the Centre of Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (Cartis).
For his part, Powers, who is recovering from the surgery, says that his life has been changed, and that he is already beginning to regain the confidence that he lost in the disfigurement. Experts are also singing the praises of the world’s first 3-D printed facial reconstruction, with maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar saying “I think it's incomparable - the results are in a different league from anything we've done before."
So what do you think of this new innovation?