02 Sep 3D Printers are Shaping the Future of Surgery
July 21, 2016 | by Marissa Pavone:
A 3-D printer saved Zeesy Stern’s jaw at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Diagnosed with a golf ball sized tumor on the left side of her mouth, one surgeon removed the tumor while another worked to remove a piece of her fibula that would be fitted into the space where her jaw originally was.
The goal was to remove the growth and create a new, fully functioning jaw – something that once took three operations and 18 months, still leaving some patients with trouble chewing and disfigurement. However, doctors at NYU Langone had initiated a new approach – one they called “jaw in a day” – with a 3-D printer that made it all possible.
The Institute for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone is one of a growing number of New York hospital departments that have embraced the use of 3-D printing. Stern’s jaw was created by carefully fitting the bone carved from her fibula with a plate manufactured on a 3D printer. The surgeons at NYU Langone used the printers to better plan and execute this complex procedure in the operating room with more accuracy, ultimately saving hours, time and money.