Pioneering technology in Swansea helps acid attack and burns victims

Scientists from Morriston Hospital in Swansea have developed pioneering technology to help survivors of acid attacks and burns.

ITV reports they are using 3D printing to custom make masks which patients with facial burns can wear for up to a year to reduce the amount scarring.

Several masks will be made for patients as their face develops.

Peter Llewelyn Evans, Maxillofacial Laboratory Services Manager at Morriston Hospital, said “The original way of getting a model to create the mask would have been to have a chewing gum type material on your face backed with plaster. It was quite unpleasant and for children you’ve got to do that under general anaesthetic.

“But here we’ve got a 3D camera in the medical photography department and what we can do is take an image of the patient and that gives us the data to take into our software.

“We can smooth off the scarring and then overnight we can print a 3D model of the face.

“Digital technology has enabled us to do facial prosthetics, to do custom implants for patients, for chest implants, so there is a wide variety of things we can do with the digital technology and a lot of that we’ve pioneered here in Wales.”

He said the next step for them would be to have a specialist centre at Morriston Hospital.

He said “We’ve pioneered this work in the Maxillofacial Lab and Burns and Plastics Centre but we’d really like to have a 3D printing and 3D design centre within the hospital so that surgeons and medical staff can access that from all areas of the hospital and really improve patient care.”

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