Using 3D printing for plastic surgery applications is taking the cosmetic reconstruction industry to an entirely different level of medicine. It’s true that 3D printers have been in use for a while now primarily in other industries as a way to create prototypes and models out of plastic polymers.
Using these additive printing technologies in medicine has become the newest wave in health care. Thanks to today’s easy access to plastic surgery enhancement a lot of people forget that this type of medicine has a very serious side including the non-elective life-saving side.
The 3D tech that is being developed will be able to grow new skin for burn victims so that they do not have to suffer through painful skin grafts and horrible scarring. In the next 5 years, 3D printing will be able to help people survive horrific accidents that they may not have survived any other way. Helping the body heal by supplying it with a new opportunity to regrow skin that comes from the person’s own cells will allow victims to heal quicker and survive what was once insurmountable odds.
Growing New Skin – First Successful Application
The 3D printing of new skin from human stem cells has been one of the most anticipated applications in new medicine. Creating replacement skin that actually belongs to the recipient (since the cells are harvested from the patient) means that the chances of rejection are minimal.
Let’s Face It …
This technology will change how plastic surgery is conducted. Right now the focus is on repairing patients that have suffered from an accident (especially in military war zones). But using this technology to help patients that are in it purely for the aesthetic purposes is of great interest especially direct face printing.
Most people think of breast implants as something that is elective but there are millions of women all around the world that survive breast cancer that can greatly benefit from the latest in lab technology.
Creating breast implants using the 3D printing can also of course be something that is primarily for aesthetic purposes. Printing cells directly can be used to grow new breast tissue which will alleviate the common problems that silicone breasts cause like leaking and allergic reaction. These newly minted breasts also greatly reduce the risk of infection.
The visionaries that work in the bioprinting field tell the masses that these applications are limitless. Once the technology is perfected it may be possible to grow new limbs, new ears, new eyes for not only aesthetics but to improve the quality of life.
The sky is the limit on the possibilities. Imagine a small child that is born with birth defects that needs a new ear to be accepted as “normal.” Right now the only option is to use plastic prosthetics. In the next 5 years it is estimated that growing a replacement ear will be the standard in most hospitals in developed nations.
3D prosthetics are already an option for some people. They fit better, look and feel more realistic. It’s a small step towards using three dimensional printing in cosmetic surgical applications.
In the next 5 years, medical three-D printers will be able to build, cell by cell, noses, ears, skin, facial and jaw bones plus much more. Directly printing cells upon a person’s face, such as for a facelift, most likely, though will take a bit longer.
Related External Links
http://youtu.be/5SWw_qM6_8I – video about Eric Moger’s face surgery
http://youtu.be/CYSyJB1m6LE – 75% of Patient’s Skull Is a 3D Printed Implant
http://youtu.be/TNiO0QmGGfE – 3D scanner used in breast augmentation surgery