A team of British surgeons are ready to carry out a pioneering operation to bring back the symmetry of a man's face with new parts produced by a printer. The man in question had met with a serious accident and one side of his face was completely disfigured while the other side was intact.
Surgeons used the side of the biker's face that was not affected to create a mirror image and this has helped achieve perfect facial reconstruction.Titanium implants are being created with the help of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.
Surgeons in Swansea, South Wales, used an X-ray CT scan to create intricately detailed three-dimensional images which will help design the bespoke implants. These images will be used to make guides to cut and position facial bones and also custom-made implants for the patient.
Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar, at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, is the team leader of this pioneering surgery.
When the victim was admitted to hospital he had suffered life threatening injuries, so experts focused on saving his life. They found that one side of his face was badly affected while the other side was unaffected.
Mr.Sugar decided to take a CT scan of this side of the face, so it acts as a template to make implants in titanium using 3D printing.
Mr Sugar said: 'We have a good chance of correcting 70 to 80 per cent of the deformity and we will make this man look a lot better.'
Peter Evans, a reconstructive scientist and Maxillofacial Laboratory Services manager, said: 'The patient suffered trauma and had multiple injuries across his body, including some quite severe facial injuries. He underwent emergency surgery at the time and we are now at the stage where we can do a proper reconstruction of his face. The patient's facial symmetry will be restored so he should be back to normal as far as his facial looks are concerned.'