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Managing Editor  | November 2016

Cancer survivor receives 3-D printed face prosthesis


In 2008, Carlito Conceicao of Sao Paulo, Brazil was diagnosed with an upper maxillary carcinoma. The husband and father of two suffered from mouth and throat ailments from the cancer, which was prevented from reaching his brain by surgery that forced doctors to remove his right eye socket and a portion of his nose.

 

prosthetic-face_600

Carlito Conceicao of Sao Paolo received a face prosthesis after his cancer surgery. (Caters News)

 

Conceicao, now 54, was saved from cancer, but the after effects had been devastating to his appearance. In an article from Caters News, he explained that it directly affected his self-esteem and left him in a depression. He explained, “My first prosthesis was fragile, poor quality and kept falling off because it was held on by glue. I felt totally disfigured and I looked terrible.”

 

In February, Dr. Rodrigo Salazar, a Peruvian dentists who was study for his doctorate at Paulista University in Sao Paulo stepped in with a potential, cutting-edge solution.

 

Using a free smartphone app called Autodesk 123D Catch, Salazar took photos of Conceicao’s face with his phone that were turned into 3-D models. The photos were guided by the app, which had the doctor take 15 shots in a preplanned sequence to develop a mirror of the healthy side of the patient’s face to sculpt a model for the affected side.

 

Using a standard 3-D printer, the doctors recreated the right side of Conceicao’s face out of silicon. Volunteer artists finished sculpting it while adding skin color, texture and realistic features to make it look natural.

 

Titanium screws were inserted into the patient’s eyebrow and the prosthesis was fitted with magnets that attached to the screws and locked it into place. The procedure took fewer than 20 hours to complete.

 

The process is called Plus ID and is being used by doctors in Brazil and the U.S. to assist hospitals that may not have access to high-tech resources.

 

The procedure allows prosthetic wearers to live a normal, everyday life with no restrictions. It can also be removed each night for cleaning.

 

Conceicao said of his new prosthetic, ““I was so impressed by the result of the new one, I cried when they fitted it.”

 

Read the full story and see more photos from before and after the procedure at https://www.catersnews.com/stories/real-people/cancer-patient-in-world-first-facial-prosthetic-made-with-smart-phone

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