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3D printing used to reconstruct jawbone for oral cancer patients
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2017.08.23 18:34
  • Updated 2017.08.23 18:34
  • comments 0

Samsung Medical Center (SMC) said Tuesday its research team has succeeded in rebuilding the jawbone of oral cancer patients using 3D printing technology.

Professor Baek Chung-hwan 백정환 of the department of otolaryngology at SMC삼성서울병원 developed guidance in reconstructing the jawbone while simultaneously cutting out cancer-infected bone using a 3D printer.

Professor Baek Chung-hwan of the department of otolaryngology at Samsung Medical Center uses recently developed 3D printing model and bone cutting guidance to reconstruct the jawbone. (Courtesy of Samsung Medical Center)

It was the third successful 3D operation model developed by Professor Baek, following the development of a sinus cancer surgery model in 2013, and a surgery model for a temporal bone necessary for treating otitis media last year.

When cancer invades the mandible, it forces jawbone to be removed along with the tumor. In such cases, surgery is performed to reconstruct the patient’s jaw by using one of their leg bones (fibula).

In the past, doctors performed surgery using only CT images. However, the 3D printing model and bone cutting guidance allow for an operation where the cutting and reconstruction can take place simultaneously by making the fibula into the jawbone needed to replace the mandible beforehand.

The procedure will likely make more precise operation possible and help to reduce operation time and predict the patient’s face after reconstruction.

“Using this model, doctors have an opportunity to learn a surgery that they had known only in theory while benefiting patients in the long run,” Baek said. “We plan to continue developing 3D printing operating models.”


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