Three-dimensional printing has propelled major innovations in different areas of education, art, engineering, manufacturing and medicine. Recent advances on 3D bioprinting have helped revolutionized how doctors are able to deal with complicated illnesses and injuries. A lot of patients were able to benefit from this remarkable medical application from 3D printed prosthetic legs to medical models that guide surgeons conducting complex procedures.
3D printing has also helped in creating facial prostheses, especially for individuals who battled with cancer but left them with serious and severe deformities like Keith Londsdale. He is a 74-year-old patient battling an aggressive form of basal cell carcinoma since 1990. He had 45 different procedures in order to save his life but he was left without cheekbones, upper jaw bone, nose and palate. With such a condition, he is having difficulty eating, drinking and speaking.
Londsdale’s doctors searched for solutions to make his life normal as possible. He had different mask-like prostheses but none of those has helped him function adequately. Other masks did not look real and did not fit his face well in an aesthetic viewpoint.
Then the new 3D printing technology provided a great solution which Scott, Keith’s son seized. Scott partnered with Jason Watson, a Reconstructive Scientist at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Center. Watson created a new facial prosthetic for Keith based off of his son Scott’s facial features.
Scott’s face was 3D scanned and an advanced computer algorithm created a 3D printable model. The team at Queen’s Medical Centre now had a 3D printed physical replica of a portion of Scott’s face where they were able to copy in wax and create a mold form. A silicone mask was created from that, which fit Keith’s face nearly perfectly. Watson stated that this procedure was one of its kind because it was the first time that they created a prosthesis based on a family resemblance.
Keith Londsdale now looks a little like his 43-year-old son and for the first time He is now able to leave their home happier and with more confidence.