In a first, an accident victim in Wales got back his face through a surgery that used 3D printing at all phases of procedure.
Stephen Power, 29, was wearing a helmet but in the motorbike accident in 2012, he got broken cheekbones, shattered eye sockets, a broken nose and upper jaw, and a fractured skull. He was hospitalised for four months.
AdvertisementCT scans helped create and print a symmetrical 3D model of Power's skull. Then, doctors printed out guides to cut and reposition his bones. Doctors at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, broke his cheekbones before reconstructing the face.
The entire procedure lasted for eight hours. Power from Cardiff is believed to be one of the first trauma patients in the world to use 3D printing at all the stages.
"I can't remember the accident - I remember five minutes before and then waking up in the hospital a few months later."
Doctors say they see a new hope for patients with this innovative technology of using 3D for surgical procedures.
Adrian Sugar, a consultant maxillofacial surgeon who led the follow-up surgery, said, "Stephen was wearing a hat and glasses to disguise his appearance and was avoiding leaving the house. His left eye was in the wrong position and his cheek looked strange."
Doctors said the entire procedure was planned digitally before being implemented through the surgery. The reconstruction of the face was a result of months of 3D planning and printing. The British doctors have achieved a new feat in this new technology.