Doctors during the surgery on the 17-year-old girl. They first placed a surgical guide to ensure precision during drilling and cutting, before fitting 3D-printed patient-specific implant. Image Credit: DHA

Dubai: Experts from the Dubai Health Authority’s Primary Healthcare Centre and Rashid Hospital collaborated with 3D printing health care start-up Sinterex to save the jaw of a patient with an aggressive tumour.

The 17-year-old high school student was admitted to hospital after doctors discovered a large, fast-growing tumour in her right jaw.

She was diagnosed with Ossifying Fibroma, which required the removal of the right side of her jaw.

Given the aesthetic implications and complexity of the case, it was critical to use digital planning and 3D printing to create a patient-specific solution, Julian Callanan, managing director of Sinterex, said.

Step-by-step procedure: 

  1. The process started with a CT scan
  2. After scan was taken, it was segmented and converted into a 3D-printed physical model.
  3. This model allowed the doctor Dr Khalid Gandour, Maxilofacial Surgeon at the DHA, and his team of surgeons, to visually inspect the patient’s situation and develop a treatment plan.
  4. Treatment plan was finalised, Sinterex 3D printed a surgical guide
  5. The surgical guide was fitted into the patient in the operating theatre to ensure precision on the part of the surgeons involved in drilling and cutting.
  6. A patient-specific implant was 3D-printed in bio-compatible medical grade Titanium.

“In maxillofacial surgery, we are working in an area where both aesthetics and function are important,” Dr Ghandour said.

“The operating conditions are quite challenging, and 3D-printing models help us better visualise the patient’s situation. The 3D-printing surgical guides and patient-specific implants allow us to translate plans into reality.”

The operating conditions are quite challenging, and 3D-printing models help us better visualise the patient’s situation. The 3D-printing surgical guides and patient-specific implants allow us to translate plans into reality.

- Dr Khalid Gandour, Maxilofacial Surgeon at the Dubai Healthcare Authority

Other recent cases of 3D-printing in Dubai include the creation of a prosthetic leg, the removal of a cancerous growth from a patient’s kidney through referencing a 3D model, and the saving of the life of a patient suffering with cerebral aneurysm.