How 3D-Printing Repaired And Restored A Crash Victim’s Face

Stephen Power had his face reconstructed with custom made parts.

In 2012, Stephen Power from Cardiff in Wales, suffered multiple trauma injuries after a motorcycle accident. Even though he was wearing a helmet, the accident fractured his skull and broke his cheekbones, top jaw, and his nose.

With the help of 3D printing technology, doctors were able to reconstruct his face using parts that were 3D-printed throughout the entire surgery procedure.

The project was work by the Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (CARTIS). Surgeons couldn’t fully repair Power’s face so CARTIS planned to bring back the symmetry of his face.

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The team who performed the surgery, which Power described as “life changing,” used CT scans to create and print a symmetrical 3D model of Power’s skull. They also created cutting guides and printed the titanium plates and implants to match. The operation took six hours and surgeons had to break the cheek bones again to follow the cutting guides before reconstructing the face.

According to Adrian Sugar, a maxillofacial surgeon, 3D printing technology allowed them to be more precise in reconstructing Power’s face.

The operation shows how the cutting edge technology can or should be used in surgery or the hospital system. The operation is being featured in an exhibition, titled 3D Printing: The Future, at the Science Museum in London.

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Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery
Source, Images: BBC

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