Eric Moger will not forget the day he was diagnosed with a facial tumor, the size of a tennis ball, located on his face’s left side. In the case of this type of cancer, tumor development should not be stopped only with strong chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Still, plastic surgery interventions are needed to eliminate the tumor and achieve a complete cure of the patient.
In the case of Eric Moger, a restaurant owner in England, his facial cancer spread over his face. The surgical treatment they applied had to remove almost the left side of his face, including the cheek, jaw and left eye. The intervention, which took place four and a half years ago, caused Eric Moger to completely change his life. Losing half of his face made his entire routine and customs upset. However, the advent of 3D printing has given it its face back in a way.
Facial reconstruction using 3D printing
Getting a new face wasn’t just an aesthetic wish for Eric Moger alone. The loss of half of his face due to facial cancer had caused him to be unable to eat or normally drink, as he had to do so by using a probe directed directly into his stomach. Therefore, recovering half of his disfigured face was not only a matter of plastic surgery but also a way to improve his quality of life.
Using a pioneering technique, surgeons were able to reconstruct half of her face, designing a prosthesis to cover half of her face using 3D printing. For the first time, this procedure performed in the UK by surgeon Andrew Dawood has succeeded in creating a kind of ‘mirror image of Eric’s face.’
To do this, they carried out a study of what Eric Moger’s face could look like using scans and three-dimensional reconstruction and then designed this facial mask, using 3D printing, in hardened nylon. In the future, the ideal would be to print this type of artificial faces in silicone, which would allow a better adaptation to the individual’s face and even the prosthesis’s different coloration (adapting it to a more brown tone, for example on vacation). Thanks to this advance, Moger was able to drink and eat for the first time, something he had not done in the previous four years.
The nylon was 3D printed layer by layer, and placing it on Eric Moger’s face was no easy task. This facial prosthesis is attached to your face by magnets, to facilitate its placement and removal, something that English people do daily. At one time, surgeon Dawood intended to 3D print Moger’s jawbone, which would make it easier for him to eat food autonomously.
A new advance, without a doubt, in 3D technology has partially restored normality to this English patient. In the future, 3D printing will continue to be one of the leading tools in areas such as medicine, as we see reflected today on the face of Eric Moger. A technique that had given him the return to his routine, since, after four years, Moger will resume the wedding plans that he had planned with his partner before he was diagnosed with the tumor.