Experts from Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Primary Healthcare Centre and Rashid Hospital have collaborated with 3D printing healthcare start-up Sinterex, to save the jaw of a patient who had an aggressive tumour. The patient, a 17-year-old girl in high school, was admitted to the hospital after discovering she had a large, fast growing tumour of the right jaw.
Dr. Khaled Ghandour, Maxilofacial Surgeon at DHA, said that the patient was diagnosed with Ossifying Fibroma, a particularly aggressive form of tumour, which meant that the right side of the jaw had to be removed.
It was at this stage that Sinterex became involved. Sinterex is a UAE-based start-up specialising in customised 3D printed healthcare products. Managing Director, Julian Callanan, explained that 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.
The workflow started with the patients CT scan, which was segmented and converted into a 3D printed physical model. This model allowed Dr. Ghandour, and his team of surgeons, to visually inspect the patient’s situation and to develop a treatment plan. After finalising the treatment plan, Sinterex 3D printed a Surgical Guide, which was fitted to the patient in the operating theatre to ensure that the surgeons drilling and cutting are guided with precision. Finally, a patient specific implant was 3D printed in bio-compatible medical grade Titanium.
Dr. Ghandour stressed the importance of utilising 3D printing in medical care. He said, “In maxillofacial surgery, we are working in an area where both aesthetics and function are important. Additionally, operating conditions are quite challenging. 3D printing models help us better visualise the patient’s situation, whilst 3D printing Surgical Guides and Patient Specific Implants allow us to translate plans into reality.”
Dr. Mohammad Al Redha, Director of Project Management Office and Informatics and Smart Health at DHA said that this is just one further example of how the DHA has successfully used 3D printing. Other recent examples include 3D printing a prosthetic leg, removing a cancerous growth from a patient’s kidney referencing a 3D model, and saving the life of a patient suffering with cerebral aneurysm.
Dr. Al Redha said that the DHA is planning to further utilise 3D printing in medical care in line with the Dubai 3D printing strategy – a unique global initiative that aims to utilise technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by 2020.