Best face for­ward with 3D pic skull

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - 3D -

3D is a gamechanger for peo­ple like Vi­o­let Pi­etrok. The two-year-old was born with a rare de­for­mity called a Tessier fa­cial cleft, which meant she had a large growth over her left eye, which was set very far apart from her right eye and she had no car­ti­lage in her nose. The bones that typ­i­cally bond to form the fe­tal face did not join to­gether prop­erly in Vi­o­let’s case.

But six months ago, doc­tors were able to make a per­fect replica of Vi­o­lets skull us­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy, which en­abled them to prac­tise on the model be­fore they em­barked on danger­ous surgery on the baby’s real face. Part of the surgery in­cluded mak­ing cuts through her skull very near the op­tic nerve, so to be able to prac­tice was in­valu­able. Re­con­struc­tive sur­geon John Meara said prac­tis­ing on Vi­o­let’s 3D skull helped the sur­gi­cal team iden­tify some is­sues that they mod­elled prior to ac­tual surgery, mean­ing they were not faced with mak­ing crit­i­cal de­ci­sions in the op­er­at­ing room. The surgery took sev­eral hours but was ul­ti­mately a suc­cess, say me­dia re­ports. You can see how 3D was Vi­o­let’s game-changer at chil­dren­shos­pi­tal.org.

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