A survivor of a motorbike accident who suffered terrible facial injuries underwent a surgery to reconstruct his face with the use of 3D printed parts.
Stephen Power from Cardiff, Wales is believed to be the world's first trauma patient to undergo a 3D printing procedure at every stage of the surgery.
In 2012, the 29-year-old met with a major accident that left multiple injuries in his face. He broke his nose, top jaw, cheek bones and fractured his skull. By the use of 3D printing techniques, surgeons could estimate the face reconstruction.
Surgeons finally could create a face amazingly similar to that of Power's original face. Surgeons at the Morriston Hospital in Wales' second city, Swansea, in order to restore the symmetry of his face, employed CT scans to print and create a symmetrical 3D model of his skull.
Power used to wear glasses and hat to hide his injuries prior to his operation. But soon after the surgery, he felt the transformation.
"I could see the difference straight away the day I woke up. I'm hoping I won't have to disguise myself. I won't have to hide away. I'll be able to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, even go to any public areas." BBC News quoted Power as saying.
"Without this advanced technology, it's freehand. You have to guess where everything goes. The technology allows us to be far more precise and get a better result for the patient." said Adrian Sugar, maxillofacial surgeon in a statement.
The surgery was a joint project between the Centre of Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (Cartis), collaboration between the Swansea hospital and Cardiff Metropolitan University scientists.