3D Printing Technology Helps Restore Face of Car Accident Victim
A 50-year-old sculptor, Mr. Peng, fell from a motorbike one day in a traffic accident, his left eye socket hitting the protruding area at the back of a tractor-trailer. The wound was at first only a little numb and swollen for 1-2 weeks. Apart from icing the injured area, he did nothing else to treat the wound. After 1-2 months, as the wounds gradually stopped swelling, the left and right side of his face became more and more asymmetrical. His left eye began to droop and sink into its socket, making his eyes unable to focus. Upon getting examined at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, he found that the left side of his face had severe displaced zygomatic fractures and orbital blowout fractures. Finally, a computer-aided navigation system and 3D printing technology were used to help him reposit his eye back to its original location.
Dr. Liao Han-Tsong (廖漢聰), director of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, who treated Mr. Peng, said that after the initial impact, Mr. Peng did not immediately get the injury treated. In the first 2 weeks, the only symptoms were redness, numbness, and pain. After a month or two, his face started to become asymmetrical, and after 2 to 3 months, his left eye socket began to collapse, to the point that his eyes were unable to focus. This seriously impacted the precise vision required by the sculptor to do his job, and his livelihood was affected. It was not until the third month, when he went to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for an examination, that he found his cheekbones were broken and his orbital bone was shattered, which caused his eyes to droop and become displaced.
Dr. Liao said that for this type of fracture caused by trauma, the first 1 to 2 weeks is the golden period for treatment. During this time, there are still many "reference points" of the skeletal muscle and nerve fibers to help the surgeon reset the bones. However, since Mr. Peng had delayed treatment for more than 3 months, these reference points were long gone. Eventually, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital adopted 3D printing technology to scan the right side of his undamaged face and then flipped the model to simulate the left side of the face. With the computer-aided navigation, Mr. Peng's face was successfully reconstructed, and he could go back to work.
Dr. Liao suggested that in the case of facial injuries, besides the swelling and pain, if there are facial numbness and asymmetry of the field of vision, it could mean that the facial nerve or the orbital bone is injured. It is advisable to seek medical treatment as soon as possible so that the situation won't become worse.
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital currently uses a computer-aided navigation system and 3D printing technology to reconstruct the face of car accident victims. Patients only need to pay NT$ 20,000 to NT$ 50,000 at their own expense. For plastic surgery, the cost will be NT$100,000 to NT$200,000 at their own expense.
Original article reprinted from:
Apple Daily (Report by Huang, Zhong-Qiu/ Taipei)
Make an appointment online with for Dr. LIAO, HAN-TSONG (廖漢聰醫師): https://register.cgmh.org.tw/RMSTimeTable.aspx? dpt=B2100AB2200A