Researchers are using computed tomography (CT) and 3-D printing technology to recreate life-size models of patients' heads to assist in face transplantation surgery, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Physicians at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston performed the country's first full-face transplantation in 2011 and have subsequently completed four additional face transplants. The procedure is performed on patients who have lost some or all of their face as a result of injury or disease.
In the study, a research team led by Frank J. Rybicki, M.D., radiologist and director of the hospital's Applied Imaging Science Laboratory, Bohdan Pomahac, M.D., lead face transplantation surgeon, and Amir Imanzadeh, M.D., research fellow, assessed the clinical impact of using 3-D printed models of the recipient's head in the planning of face transplantation surgery.
"This is a complex surgery and its success is dependent on surgical planning," Dr. Rybicki said. "Our study demonstrated that if you use this model and hold the skull in your hand, there is no better way to plan the procedure."
Each of the transplant recipients underwent preoperative CT with 3-D visualization. To build each life-size skull model, the CT images of the transplant recipient's head were segmented and processed using customized software, creating specialized data files that were input into a 3-D printer.
"In some patients, we need to modify the recipient's facial bones prior to transplantation," Dr. Imanzadeh said. "The 3-D printed model helps us to prepare the facial structures so when the actual transplantation occurs, the surgery goes more smoothly."
Although the entire transplant procedure lasts as long as 25 hours, the actual vascular connections from the donor face to the recipient typically takes approximately one hour, during which time the patient's blood flow must be stopped.
"If there are absent or missing bony structures needed for reconstruction, we can make modifications based on the 3-D printed model prior to the actual transplantation, instead of taking the time to do alterations during ischemia time," Dr. Rybicki said. "The 3-D model is important for making the transplant cosmetically appealing."
The researchers said they also used the models in the operating room to increase the surgeons' understanding of the anatomy of the recipient's face during the procedure.
"You can spin, rotate and scroll through as many CT images as you want but there's no substitute for having the real thing in your hand," Dr. Rybicki said. "The ability to work with the model gives you an unprecedented level of reassurance and confidence in the procedure."
Senior surgeons and radiologists involved in the five face transplantations agreed that the 3-D printed models provided superior pre-operative data and allowed complex anatomy and bony defects to be better appreciated, reducing total procedure time.
"Less time spent in the operating room is better for overall patient outcomes," Dr. Pomahac added.
Based on the results of this study, 3-D printing is now routinely used for surgical planning for face transplantation procedures at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and 3-D printed models may be implemented in other complex surgeries.
Co-authors on the study are Maximilian Kueckelhaus, M.D., Kanako K. Kumamaru, M.D., Ph.D., Nicole Wake, M.S., Dimitris Mitsouras, Ph.D., Elizabeth George, M.D., Gerald T. Grant, D.M.D., M.S., Peter C. Liacouras, Ph.D., and Edward J. Caterson, M.D., Ph.D.
Note: Copies of RSNA 2014 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press14 beginning Monday, Dec. 1.
RSNA is an association of more than 54,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists, promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
For patient-friendly information on CT of the head, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Rutgers researchers develop automated robotic device for faster blood testing
14.06.2018 | Rutgers University
Speech comprehension with a cochlear implant
04.06.2018 | Universität zu Lübeck
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
18.06.2018 | Process Engineering
18.06.2018 | Life Sciences