What are the pros and cons of using 3d printing for cosmetic surgery?

3d printing seems to be an amazing technology and is even being used in the medical field. Do you recommend 3d printed implants for facial procedures, such as rhinoplasty? What are the pros and cons to this procedure?

Doctor Answers 5

3D printed surgical models

The technology to print three-dimensional models now exists.  Using three-dimensional photographs and software, surgical 3D models can be easily printed.  These models provide a much better view and understanding when compared to traditional two-dimensional photographs.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Three dimensional imaging

Three dimensional imaging really has not been of any use in rhinoplasty except for marketing purposes.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What are the pros and cons of using 3d printing for cosmetic surgery?

Other than a toy, it has no place in rhinoplasty. You cannot print  living, biocompatible, complex structure like a nose.

Dennis Barek, MD
Great Neck Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

3d Printing in rhinoplasty

You can't print a nose, maybe if you needed a prosthesis you could use a 3-d printer, but otherwise I seen no role for 3-d printing for rhinoplasty surgery.

Arian Mowlavi, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Technology and Rhinoplasty

Innovation is nothing new to the field of Medicine. As rhinoplasty surgeons, we have seen waves of new promising materials, techniques, and implants touting themselves as the easy solution to rhinoplasty. The fact is that rhinoplasty is a highly technical surgical procedure. Surgeons dedicate their entire lives to the "art" of rhinoplasty. That being said, I think technology may provide some additional benefits by decreasing morbidity to patients, such as 3D cartilage printing or 3D implant printing. But nothing will be an easy fix, or deliver perfect results for all patients. Implants in the right patient may be great, but in the wrong patient they may extrude or other unwanted results. Technology is exciting, but be sure to rely on someone who has your best interests in mind and has sufficient rhinoplasty experience. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.