First Facial Reconstruction Surgery With Help of 3D Printer

First Facial Reconstruction Surgery With Help of 3D Printer

A man from Cardiff, Stephen Power had a critical motorcycle accident in 2012 which left him hospitalised for months. He experienced serious damage to his maxilla, cheekbones, nose and fractured his skull despite wearing a helmet. When he eventually left the hospital, his face was disfigured, which he explains majorly affected the quality of his life.

Power decided to have facial reconstructive surgery and the surgeons decided to use the most technologically advanced method available: 3D printing. They custom made 3D printed models, guides, plates and implants. He is the first trauma patient to use this technology in all aspects of the reconstruction.

In order to recreate facial symmetry, doctors created CT scans of the man's skull. All of the features that needed to be reconstructed had to be carefully mapped out and planned. The surgeons reported that this method allowed them to create very accurate parts as they were able to measure everything correctly. This eliminated the guesswork involved in reshaping facial features. They believe that 3D printing will likely become the normal course of treatment in these kind of procedures.

Once all of the pieces had been designed, the specifications were sent to a firm in Germany which specialised in manufacturing 3D printed parts. They printed them using medical-grade titanium. Once the parts were manufactured surgeons spent 8 hours in surgery, reconstructing Power’s face. His cheekbones were re-broken in order to insert the guides and an implant was used to hold the bone in it’s original location.

Below is a BBC video which documented Power’s operation and development. Please be aware that there are graphic surgical images, therefore please view with discretion.



We at Pathway Software believe the potential for using 3D printing in healthcare is staggering. With every passing day there are amazing examples of the application of this technology ranging from incredibly sophisticated uses like this one to rather more straightforward uses like the production of customised Orthoses while a customer waits. We are keeping a very close eye on this technology and looking for opportunities to interface with it via our Patient Record System

About Pathway Software

Pathway Software ( specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.

Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.

We build beautifully simple cloud-based applications and mobile apps that help your clinicians work collaboratively, reduce paperwork and improve patient engagement