Materialize 3D printing software helps perform world’s first successful hand and face transplant

Above: Materialize clinical engineers have formed a tight-knit team alongside surgeons at NYU Langone / Image source: Materialize

Materialize” 3D printing software – 3D technologies, play a crucial role in the successful operation of the world’s first double simultaneous hand and face transplant at NYU Langone Health in Manhattan, NY.

Materialize’s innovative planning and 3D printing tools enable the speed and precision required for such a complex medical procedure. Custom 3D printed tools such as those used in Dual Hand and Facial Grafting are also increasingly common for use in routine surgery, giving surgeons an added level of confidence that translates into improved performance. patient outcomes.

The 22-year-old patient suffered burns from a car accident, leaving him with serious injuries to his face and both arms. He suffered significant damage to his soft tissues, which severely limited his ability to lead a normal life. During a 14-month preparation period, Materialize’s clinical engineers formed a tight-knit team alongside surgeons from NYU Langone, repeating the operation in a lab environment to develop and refine the surgical plan. Once a suitable donor was found, the team, led by Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez, Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone, only had 24 hours to begin the procedure which would improve the patient’s function, appearance and quality of life.

Materialize 3D printing software

3D printing software
Above: Pre-surgical planning allowed surgeons to virtually select and position various medical implants to predict the optimal anatomical fit / Image source: Materialize

In the months leading up to the operation, Materialize engineers coordinated the development of a surgical plan, used its 3D printing software, and created an on-screen 3D model based on CT scans. This allowed surgeons and clinical engineers to virtually plan the procedure and visualize different three-dimensional scenarios, creating an in-depth understanding of anatomical bone structure and determining optimal surgical flow. Using 3D printing software, pre-surgical planning was made possible, allowing surgeons to virtually select and position various medical implants to predict the optimal anatomical fit. Once the surgical plan was finalized, Materialize 3D printed the personalized surgical guides, anatomical models and tools to be used during the transplant surgery.

During this momentous procedure, Rodriguez and his sixteen-person surgical team used Materialize’s 3D printed cutting and drilling guides. This fully guided system for the repositioning and fixation of bone fragments was unique to the patient’s anatomy and enabled the positioning of medical tools with great precision, reducing the overall time of surgery. In addition, Materialize created sterilizable 3D printed identification tags for nerves and blood vessels, 3D printed models that were used during donor transport and 3D printed splints, allowing for optimal position of the donor. donor’s hand during soft tissue reconstruction.

3D printing software
Above: Materialize engineers coordinated the development of a surgical plan and created an on-screen 3D model based on CT scans / Image source: Materialize

According to Dr. Rodriguez, “A complex transplant surgery like this brings together a large team of specialists and presents new and unique challenges. This requires careful planning and makes timing, efficiency and precision absolutely essential. Virtual 3D surgery planning and the creation of patient-specific 3D printed tools provide additional information in the preoperative phase and increased levels of speed and precision during time critical surgery ”.

Bryan Crutchfield, Vice President and General Manager for North America, said: “Image-based planning and medical 3D printing have completely revolutionized personalized patient care by providing surgeons with detailed information and a additional level of confidence before entering the operating room. As a result, leading hospitals are adopting 3D planning and printing services as part of their medical practices, as they create a level of predictability that would be impossible to achieve without the use of 3D technologies.

Materialize has pioneered many cutting-edge medical applications of 3D printing and enables researchers, engineers and clinicians to develop innovative and personalized treatments that help improve and save lives. The Materialize software and services platform forms the foundation for certified medical 3D printing in clinical and research environments, offering virtual planning software tools, 3D printed anatomical models, and customized surgical guides and implants.


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Kayla A. Murphy