A British man whose face was severely injured in a motorcycle accident underwent facial reconstruction surgery made using three-dimensional printer parts. Stephen Power, 29, has become the first person to be operated with this technology .
Power two years ago had an accident with his motorcycle and although wearing a helmet, the upper jaw, nose, and cheekbones broke and he suffered a fractured skull. After spending four months in the hospital, he came out with a partially disfigured face hiding behind hats and sunglasses .
To return to his usual appearance, first a three-dimensional model of Power’s skull was created as it was before the accident. Parts were selected to replace and underwent 3D printing. In an operation that lasted more than eight hours at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, the printed pieces were implanted to hold the bones and a necessary titanium implant printed in Belgium was also used.
Power told the BBC that the results have totally changed his life. «We could see the difference in the time I woke up ,» he recalled . » I ‘ll have to dress up , I do not have to hide , I can do everyday things like going to see people walking down the street,» he added.
The maxillofacial surgeon who operated on Power, Adrian Sugar, said the results were not comparable in any way to the first reconstruction work that had worked. «Without this technology, it’s all by hand. Have to guess where it goes .» According to the specialist , this technology provides greater accuracy and better results.
The explanation of the operation is part of an exhibition of three-dimensional printing in the Science Museum in London. The project is the result of collaboration between the hospital and scientists from Swansea Metropolitan University Cardiff within the Center of technologies in reconstructive surgery (Cartis).