A plastic surgeon in Danbury, Connecticut used the latest medical advances in 3-D technology to rebuild a patient’s face. When traditional reconstructive surgery failed to work for a patient who had facial deformities due to a car accident, Dr. David M. Goldenberg suggested using 3-D technology to create an implant that would be an exact match for the patient’s bone structure.
With the latest medical advancements, replacement body parts can now be customized. Three-dimensional technology uses a CT scan to map out the size and shape of bones from all angles. Then a computer can flip it to make a mirrored image and design a model of the missing bone so that engineers can create a 3-D copy.
On January 12 Doctor Goldenberg implanted two pieces of acrylic polyethylene, which are an exact match for the patient’s face. Goldenberg told Danbury’s NewsTimes, “This implant is made to replicate exactly what portion of the bone is missing, front and back. It almost snaps in place.” The new technique improves conventional reconstructive surgery which often requires surgeons to take pieces of bone from other parts of the body and re-shape them to fill spaces where new bones are needed. The process is time consuming and prone to human error.
The Danbury patient reports that results of the surgery feel less artificial than previously used titanium plates did. Furthermore, Goldenberg expects the technology to be used in the near future to create replacement pieces for the spine, cranium, and other essential body parts.