3-D printer at NUH shaping up well as surgery aid

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NUH’s Associate Professor Lim Thiam Chye with two skull models that were printed with the 3-D printer. NUH bought the prototype printer in January and is now the first hospital in Asia to have the whole 3-D process, from modelling to printing, under one roof.

Surgeons at the National University Hospital of Singapore (NUHS) recently acquired the Objet30 Pro 3-D printing system which allows them to hold an exact model of their patient’s face in their hands so they can shape reconstructions and implants accurately.Utilizing the 3-D printing system, surgeons can now follow the contours of the skull model. Their patients include victims of road accidents and violence, and those left deformed by cancerous tumors.

Associate Professor Lim Thiam Chye, head and senior consultant at NUHS’s division of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, explained that bringing the whole array of 3-D technology under one roof would improve the turnaround time for treatments.

Surgeons can reconstruct faces with an accuracy of up to 99 percent, even for cases with only half skeleton intact.

“The skills of even the most capable surgeon can be enhanced with technology to provide better care and outcomes for patients, ” said Prof Lim.

093007The 3-D printer at NUH shows surgeons to have an exact model of a patient’s skull. Surgeons can follow the skull contours, helping them shape reconstructions and implants accurately.