Any surgery is scary, and any patient undergoing a surgical procedure wants it to be successful, but there is a bit extra at stake for patients undergoing maxillofacial surgeries. The face is the one area where we desperately don’t want any scarring or deformity; our faces are what we present to the world and any kind of damage can be highly traumatic. Thankfully, medical technology has advanced to the point at which even the most severe degrees of facial trauma can be repaired; even entire face transplants have been carried out, and many of those types of procedures have been aided by 3D printing, 3D scanning and virtual reality.

3D printed implants have played a role in ensuring that reconstructive surgery patients can recover more quickly, spend less time in surgery and return to their normal lives looking as close as possible to the way they looked before the illness or injury that necessitated the surgery. 3D printing allows for the production of patient-specific implants shaped and tailored to each individual patient, ensuring optimum comfort and efficacy.

“For seven years now I’ve experienced the benefits of 3D-printed implants firsthand – they simplify maxillofacial surgery and allow me to perform procedures more accurately, saving time in the OR and improving patient outcomes,” said Dr. Thomas Schouman, CMF surgeon at Groupe Hospitalier Pitié Salpêtrière.  “Moreover, they offer new treatment possibilities, allowing me to perform more complex surgeries or multiple procedures in a single intervention whereas without the implants several interventions would be necessary.”

Materialise’s TRUMATCH maxillofacial implants are 3D printed in titanium, and they make up part of a larger overall solution for orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, and facial reconstruction. The solution also includes virtual surgical planning and was introduced last year throughout Australia and Europe, sold by DePuy Synthes. The system has been well-received in those areas, and is now being introduced to the United States market, again through DePuy Synthes.

This is the first time 3D printed titanium maxillofacial implants have received clearance for use in the US market, marking yet another step for 3D printing in the health care industry in the United States. Now, patients needing maxillofacial surgery will have the opportunity to take advantage of personalized implants, resulting in shorter surgical time and better aesthetic results, according to Materialise.

“As the first of our extensive selection of implants to receive clearance for the U.S. markets, the decision is a real milestone for our medical department,” said Brigitte de Vet, Vice President of Materialise Medical. “Thanks to our partnership with DePuy Synthes, our devices will be able to provide better healthcare for as many patients as possible.”

While facial trauma from injury or illness can be devastating, it’s no longer a lifelong curse the way it used to be. Thanks to 3D printing, 3D scanning, and virtual reality, among other advanced medical technology, it’s now possible to have almost any kind of damage repaired. Patients in Europe and Australia have been benefiting from Materialise’s TRUMATCH technology, and now patients across the United States will be able to benefit as well.

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[Images: Materialise]

 

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