Mar.31, 2013

After suffering an aggressive tumour growing beneath the skin of his left face, Eric Moger, 60-year-old restaurant manager, underwent extensive surgery to remove the cancer. His life was saved but he lost almost the entire left side of his face, including his left eye, cheek and jawbone.

Since then for four years Eric has had a very difficult life. Due to the limited healing speed of the large area of the wound caused by radical radiotherapy and chemotherapy, his left face has been completely covered by a gauze dressing. He has undergone eight reconstruction but none of them were successful.

Finally, Eric and his fiance visited Dr Christian Jessen at the Embarrassing Bodies clinic. Using 3D scanning and 3D printing technology surgeons have created a prosthetic face for Eric, the first procedure of its kind in the UK.

(Eric Moger and his fiance Karen Hunger | Photo credit: Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph)

First of all, expert dental implant surgeon Andrew Dawood put CT scan and facial scan of Eric's left skull half and used software to plan his face. Based on the scans Dr Dawood designed a scaffold created from titanium to replace the missing bone.

Using 3D imaging and printing technology Dr Dawood was able to create a mirror image of the right hand side of Eric's face and recreated a facial shell made of toughened nylon. Then he moulded the new silicon mask and secured it on Eric face using magnets.

For the first time after the surgery, Eric could drink water from a glass and taste food. Before that he has had to eat and drink through a tube directly into his stomach.

Dr Dawood hopes in the near future that they could 3D print the silicon mask using silicon like material to speed up the process.

"It would mean we could produce different types of prosthesis for people, like one with a tan for when they go on holiday, but we are not there yet."

Eric has a new face and it brings back hope, optimism and confidence to him and his family.

"We are still going to get married when this is all sorted out," he said. "I am going to get some new teeth fitted which means I can chew again too, but after that I am looking forward to getting married and restarting my life.


"Now I have a new face for the wedding I can restart my life after having it on hold for four and a half years."


Source: The Telegraph

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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