Four years ago, doctors resected a massive tumor growing beneath the skin on his face. They successfully removed the cancerous growth, but were also forced to remove most of the entire left face.
After the lifesaving procedure, the 60-year-old British restaurant manager, Eric Moger had a “hole” where his eye, cheek bone, and part of his jaw connected. Moger was destined to have go on to live the rest of his life with half his face missing until 3D printing did a miracle.
Nicholas Kalavrezos—the surgeon who removed his tumor—referred Moger to Dr. Andrew Dawood, a dental surgeon and implant specialist. Dawood had previously experimented with 3D printing by recreating his patients’ jaws and practicing surgical procedures on them.
Dawood used CT and facial scans to create a facial blueprint. Using that data, he was able to construct a “scaffold,” a titanium jaw replacement that uses 2-inch-long rods to hold it in place. Than he implanted a plastic plate inside of Moger’s mouth. This would allow him to eat and drink for the first time after surgery. Earlie, Moger was fed via a NG tube that went directly into his stomach.
The surgeon used toughened nylon and magnets to build a removable facade.
“When I had it in my hand, it was like looking at myself in my hands,” Eric Moger told the Sydney Morning Herald, referring to his new mask. “When I first put it up to my face, I couldn’t believe how good it looked.”
“Before, I used to have to hold my hand up to my jaw to keep my face still so I could talk properly and I would have liquid running out the side of my face if I tried to drink. When I had the first glass of water wearing the prosthetic face, nothing came out—it was amazing.”