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The 3D-printing medical breakthroughs of the year (so far): Facial deformity

A 2-year-old girl born with a rare defect called Tessier facial cleft was left with a large gap in the center of her face and no cartilage in her nose. Prior to performing a six-hour surgical procedure to correct the deformity at the Boston Children's Hospital, the doctors printed a 3D model of her skull based on magnetic resonance imaging pictures, reported the New York Times. The models allowed the surgeon to prepare for the procedure without interfering with her brain or nerve functions.

A 2-year-old girl born with a rare defect called Tessier facial cleft was left with a large gap in the center of her face and no cartilage in her nose. Prior to performing a six-hour surgical procedure to correct the deformity at the Boston Children's Hospital, the doctors printed a 3D model of her skull based on magnetic resonance imaging pictures, reported the New York Times. The models allowed the surgeon to prepare for the procedure without interfering with her brain or nerve functions. Models such as these would have cost several thousands of dollars using conventional technology, but the four 3D-printed models cost approximately $1200. "The value of a model like this is huge," said surgeon John Meara. "This gives me the ability to see on this model better than I will in the operating room."

Tessier facial cleft

TAGS: 3D Printing
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