3D printed face. 3D-printing technology is indeed a blessing, and Eric Moger is very thankful for it, for the lease of life he received.
Around 2009, physicians told Moger that a huge tumor was growing underneath the skin on his face. While experts succeeded in removing the cancerous overgrowth, Moger’s serious condition also forced them to take out most of the entire left side of his face.
Indeed, the procedure may have saved his life, but the consequences seemed too much to bear. In fact, Moger, who worked as a restaurant manager, sustained a cavernous hole right at where his eye, cheek bone, and part of his jaw had been. Moger would have to accept the fact that for the rest of his life, half his face is gone.
But with 3D printing, hope came to Moger.
Nicholas Kalavrezos, the surgeon who removed the tumor on his face,
told Moger to see Dr. Andrew Dawood, a dental surgeon and implant
specialist, who conducted a series of experiments 3D printing. In fact,
Dawood had been created artificial jaws for his patients and has been
doing so during surgical procedures.
For Moger’s case, Dr. Dawood conducted CT and facial scans to help him design a facial blueprint, which helped him to create a "scaffold," a titanium jaw replacement made of 2-inch-long rods that will enable it to stay in its place. Likewise, the procedure involved the insertion of an artificial plate in Moger's mouth. Doing this, Dawod explained, will restore his patient’s capacity to eat and drink for the first time since the surgery. Moger has been feeding through a tube that immediately went into his stomach.
The surgeon used toughened nylon and magnets to build a removable facade.
"When I had it in my hand, it was like looking at myself in my hands," Eric Moger was so happy when he told this to the Sydney Morning Herald. He was talking about the new mask that will be used to restore his face.
"When I first put it up to my face, I couldn't believe how good it looked." Before, I used to have to hold my hand up to my jaw to keep my face still so I could talk properly and I would have liquid running out the side of my face if I tried to drink. When I had the first glass of water wearing the prosthetic face, nothing came out—it was amazing."
There’s just no stopping Moger from enjoying the way of life that he used to. The 60-year-old British man was actually engaged to get married before the tumor has developed and destroyed his face.
This was the best wedding gift he ever had. "Now I have a new face for the wedding," he noted. "I can restart my life after having it on hold for four and a half years."