Pioneering 3D printing used to rebuild British man's face
Stephen Power suffered serious facial disfigurement after a motorcycle accident
A British man has made history after undergoing ground-breaking surgery to reconstruct his face using a series of 3D printed parts.
Stephen Power, from Cardiff, who suffered serious facial disfigurement after a motorcycle accident, is one of the first trauma patients in the world to have 3D printing used at every stage of a procedure.
The 29-year-old sustained two broken arms and his right leg was so badly damaged it required a bone graft after he was involved in a crash in September 2012. He also suffered fractured cheekbones and eye sockets and his upper jaw and skull were smashed.
But now the former barman says he will no longer have to “hide away” after his facial injuries were rectified thanks to pioneering 3D technology.
Surgeons carried out an eight-hour operation at Morriston Hospital in Swansea where staff had spent months creating CT scans and producing a 3D model of Mr Power’s skull.
This allowed them to ascertain how best to reassemble his shattered left cheek and eye socket and restore the symmetry of his face.
The team had to re-fracture Mr Power’s cheekbones before remodelling his face and then used custom printed models, guides, plates and implants to repair the injuries. A medical-grade titanium implant, printed in Belgium, was then used to hold the bones in their new shape.
“It is totally life-changing,” Mr Power said. “I could see the difference straight away the day I woke up from the surgery.”
Maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar says the 3D printing removed the element of guesswork that is usually involved in reconstructive work.
“I think it’s incomparable – the results are in a different league from anything we’ve done before,” he said. “It allows us to be much more precise.”
Mr Power’s operation is featured in an exhibition called 3D: printing the future at London’s Science Museum.
Having used a hat and glasses to mask his injuries before the operation, Mr Power has said the surgery has left him feeling more confident.
“I’m hoping I won’t have to disguise myself – I won’t have to hide away,” he said.
“I’ll be able to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, even go to any public areas.”
Life & Style blogs
GTA 5 Online DLC: San Andreas Flight School update brings 16-seater jet plane and more
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Karl Lagerfeld shoots Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst in suspenders for fashion shoot
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
- 4 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
- 5 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits, Training & Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# S...
£250 per day: Orgtel: Network Engineer (CCNP), Cisco Gold Partner, Farnborough...
£250 - £300 per day: Orgtel: Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer Berkshir...
£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...