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How 3D printing technology is advancing the field of plastic surgery

How 3D printing technology is advancing the field of plastic surgery

In one of our previous posts, we explored the latest advancements in the use of 3D printing within the medical field. 3D printing is also making waves in the world of plastic surgery; read on to find out more.

3D printing helps patients envision the final result

There are many proven benefits to incorporating 3D printing into the world of plastic surgery. One of the key benefits of using this technology in the field is that it provides patients with the ability to see how surgery will look after it has been completed; this allows patients to experiment with different ‘looks’ and allows them to easily envision the final result. While cosmetic surgery is not an exact science, and there are no guarantees that the surgery will result in an exact look, 3D printers can bring patients closer to realistically perceiving the final result than ever before.

3D printing is also very useful for reconstructive surgeries, as it can allow technicians to construct an exact replica for a patient, as Dr. Spiegel notes:  “Another way in which 3D printing can be used by plastic or cosmetic surgeons is that it is able to assist surgeons to reconstruct patients’ faces who have been born disfigured or who have experienced significant injuries on one side of their faces as a result of accidents. The 3D printers can be used to create a mirror image of the opposite side of the face in order to reconstruct the injured parts. This allows the patient’s face to look symmetrical afterwards – in most cases, it is almost impossible to tell that any reconstructive surgery has even been performed.”

3D printers can help surgeons to design and print molds of body parts with greater precision; being able to design parts to specific specifications, which have been personalised based on the client's needs and desires, allow plastic surgeons to save time and money on their surgeries.

More cost-effective surgeries

While 3D printers themselves can be costly, the precision that they allow for can allow surgeons to save thousands of pounds on operations; making them far more cost-effective than traditional methods.  Plastic News illustrates the cost-effectiveness of using 3D printers in plastic surgeries: “The genius of 3-D printing is that, unlike traditional manufacturing, complex objects are not more expensive to make; they do not require unique molds or multiple machines. The cost of any object is determined simply by the amount of printing material used and the time needed to design it on a computer.”

The myriad benefits of incorporating 3D printing into plastic surgery operations

3D printers are helping to advance the world of plastic surgery in a variety of ways. Previously, clients could only hope for 2D representations of the final outcome of their surgeries, but 3D printers allow for clients to gain access to a very specific representation of the outcome of their potential surgeries in the physical world. In addition, the precision that 3D printers allow for in the field and the cost-effectiveness of incorporating these technologies into plastic surgery operations, are providing big benefits to the field.

Tagged with: plastic surgery