Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Man's life transformed after 3D face printed

13 March 2014, 08:38

London - A British man who suffered horrific facial injuries in a motorbike accident has had pioneering surgery to rebuild his face using 3D printed parts.

Stephen Power from Cardiff in Wales is thought to be one of the first trauma patients in the world to have a procedure in which 3D printing was used at every stage.

The 29-year-old suffered multiple trauma injuries in an accident in 2012. Despite wearing a crash helmet, his top jaw, nose and both cheek bones were broken and he fractured his skull.

Surgeons said that by using 3D printing techniques, much of the guesswork was removed from the reconstruction of the face.

The result is a face that is remarkably similar to Power's before the accident.

The team at Morriston Hospital in Wales' second city, Swansea, used CT scans to create and print a symmetrical 3D model of his skull, followed by cutting guides and plates printed to match.

In order to try to restore the symmetry of his face, the surgical team used CT scans to create and print a symmetrical model of Power's scan.

It then cut guides and printed plates to match the CT scan.

The surgical team had to re-fracture Power's cheekbones, following the cutting guides, before remodelling the face.

A titanium implant, printed in Belgium, was then used to hold the bones in place.

Power said the results were "totally life changing".

He wore a hat and glasses to hide his injuries before the operation, but said he felt transformed immediately after the surgery.

"I could see the difference straight away the day I woke up," Power told the BBC.

"I'm hoping I won't have to disguise myself -- I won't have to hide away.

"I'll be able to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, even go to any public areas."

Maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar said the results were "incomparable" with anything he had achieved before.

"Without this advanced technology, it's freehand. You have to guess where everything goes," he said in a statement Wednesday.

"The technology allows us to be far more precise and get a better result for the patient."

The project was a joint venture between the Centre of Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (Cartis), a collaboration between the Swansea hospital and scientists at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

It is being featured in an exhibition about 3D printing at the Science Museum in London.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?