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3D Technology Revolutionizing Face Transplants


At left, a rendering of what a face looked like before surgery; at right, a planned rendering based on the donor's face.

Face transplants are an ideal setting to fuse medicine with the growing world of three-dimensional printing and imaging.

Credit: NYU Langone Medical Center.

Face transplants are a proving ground for medical applications of three-dimensional (3D) printing and imaging.

In one operation involving the complete replacement of a patient's lower face with donor tissue, the surgical team first took computed tomography images of the face. These were converted into a digital 3D model so the team could thoroughly plan the procedure.

The 3D-printing software and app provider, Materialise, produced a precise 3D-printed anatomical model, to assist with planning and surgery.

The team conducted seven practice surgeries with cadavers, scanning each cadaver for 3D modeling by Materialise, which consulted with the head surgeon to modify the operation, then printed cutting guides as fast as possible.

From Popular Science
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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