Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar stated: “We were capable to do a pretty excellent work with all his facial injuries, with the exception of his left cheek and eye socket.
“We fixed his facial fractures quite well but he had damaged his left eye and the ophthalmologists did not want us to do anything at all that might injury his sight further.
“That was a great move due to the fact his eyesight has primarily recovered. But as a end result we did not get his left cheekbone in the appropriate place and we did not even consider to reconstruct the extremely thin bones around his eye socket.
“So the end result was that his cheekbone was also far out and his eye was sunk in and dropped.”
Final 12 months, surgeons commenced organizing the surgical treatment to restore the symmetry to Mr Power’s encounter.
The undertaking was the function of the Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgical treatment, a partnership between Morriston Hospital’s Maxillofacial Unit and the National Centre for Solution Layout and Growth Research (PDR) at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
The crew employed scanned 3D photographs of Mr Power’s encounter to design and style guides to reduce and place the bones, as nicely as plates to hold the bones in place. All the designs – along with the finished guides and health care-grade titanium implants – were developed by 3D printing.
Mr Sugar explained: “Stephen had a very complex injury and correcting it involved bones getting to be re-minimize into numerous fragments.
“Being ready to do that and to place them back in the right position was a complex three dimensional exercising. It produced sense to program it in 3 dimensions and that is why 3D printing came in – and successive 3D printing, as at every different stage we had a model.
An x-ray of Stephen Power’s skull
Mr Power, from Cardiff, nonetheless has a lengthy way to go with his overall bodily recovery. But the good results of his facial reconstruction has enormous implications for other people.
Looking at the final results of the surgical treatment, Mr Power says he feels transformed – with his face now considerably closer in shape to how it was before the accident.
“It is daily life altering,” he explained.
“I could see the distinction straight away the day I woke up from the surgical treatment.”
Possessing utilised a hat and glasses to mask his injuries just before the operation, Mr Power has stated he presently feels more assured.
“I am hoping I won’t have to disguise myself – I will not have to hide away,” he explained.
(Lt-Rt) A 3D mould of Stephen’s encounter was made prior to the titanium imaplants were designed
“I’ll be ready to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, even go to any public locations.”
Mr Sugar described it as an evolution of 3D technological innovation, taking what had been carried out prior to not just one stage but two or 3 methods even more.
“Previous efforts elsewhere to consider it to this phase have failed and so we have had to learn from these experiences.
“This is genuinely the 1st time we’ve taken it to this stage, where everything to the quite last screws becoming inserted has been planned and modelled in advance – and worked sweetly.”
Mr Sugar said the same methods would be utilised to support a lot of other individuals in future.
Design engineer Sean Peel stated the most recent advance should motivate better use of 3D printing inside of the NHS.
“It tends to be utilized for personal genuinely challenging instances as it stands – in quite a convoluted, lengthy-winded design and style approach,” he mentioned.
“The following victory will be to get this method and technique utilised far more broadly as the costs fall and as the style tools boost.”
Mr Power’s operation is at present becoming featured in an exhibition at the Science Museum in London, named 3D Printing: The Potential.