Facial Augmentation and 3-d Printing: Is it available? or how far are we to having it as an option?

I love 3d printing, and I can totally see it as something that would be of interest for patients who wish to utilize customized facial augmentations. Is this being used yet? or will it be used in the future?

Doctor Answers 5

3d printing is here!

Utilizing high resolution CT scans, customized facial implants can be made for patients.  With the advent of this technology, we can appreciate the true beauty of individuality.


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Facial Augmentation and 3-d Printing: Is it available? or how far are we to having it as an option?

As ALL the previous posters stated to your question is a YES. But the costs are extravagant to say the least...

#Facial Augmentation #Implants and #3d #Printing Is Available

Yes. This has actually been available for many years. The main downside at the present time is cost. The procedure involves obtaining CT scan data in multiple planes and creating a digital 3 dimensional model based on that data. CAD software can be used to fabricate an implant that creates "perfect" bone or soft tissue symmetry. There are always the vagaries of wound healing and perfect is not a reasonable expectation but this is the current state of the art. This technique has great applications for both traumatic and congenital facial asymmetry. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facial Augmentation with 3-d Printing

Facial augmentation with a 3-D printed implant is now a reality. I recently did a patient who had had a gun shot wound to her malar (cheek) area.The implant was made from a CT of the facial bones comparing the 2 sides. Once it was designed on the computer, it was printed with a 3-D printer. This is now taking the place of designing these implants using a mold made externally. This gives a much more accurate implant than the old method. There are problems with this process, however, since the initial device is designed based solely on the bony architecture and the soft tissue overlying the area must also be taken into account to modify the initial computer drawn device. I am sure that, in the future, the computer programs will do a lot of this automatically, but they are not there yet and the surgeon has to do a lot of the design from experience.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Custom implants

custom implants are currently available. They are fabricated from 3D Cat scan templates. They are most useful in reconstructive cases when trying to match or replace missing bone as opposed to pure cosmetic augmentation.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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