Australian first reconstructive surgery changes life

In an Australian-first surgical procedure, Epworth Freemasons’ oral and maxillofacial surgeon George Dimitroulis has corrected a young man’s rare congenital jaw deformity, using a 3D printed jaw joint that was designed and created in Melbourne.

Patient Richard Stratton was born with condylar aplasia – missing a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – and the consequent lack of growth in the left side of his face left him with a noticeably skewed lower jaw and limited flexibility for movement or chewing.

ABC News clip is available with kind permission from ABC TV.

In early May, Mr Dimitroulis led the surgical team who reconstructed the missing jaw with a custom-made jaw that was the result of careful collaboration between doctors, 3D Medical (ASX:3DM), and researchers from the School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

Mr Dimitroulis said the new jaw joint was printed in titanium and special polymer, and manufactured using the latest CAD-CAM technology with 3D metal printing capabilities.

“We are at the cross-roads of an exciting era, where an increased use of 3D technology will see customized medical devices become an integral part of healthcare in the 21st Century.

“Many people suffer from jaw joint disorders such as painful clicking and jaw locking, with thousands undergoing surgery each year to treat advanced arthritic and other degenerative joint conditions,” Mr Dimitroulis said.

“This case highlights the talents and capabilities we have here in Australia to design, develop, and manufacture our own high tech medical devices.

I can see that this prosthesis, invented and made here in Melbourne, could help people around the world who require total joint replacements for advanced degenerative joint disease of the TMJ.”

Mr Dimitroulis pioneered the development of the prosthesis with input from lead researchers Dr David Ackland and Prof Peter Lee from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Biomechanical Engineering and Ben Baxter from 3DM.

About 3D Medical Limited
3D Medical is a medical specific 3D printing and holographic projection and data integrations provider. 3D Medical helps medical professionals in the facilitation of improved clinical care, improving medical procedures, diagnostics and ultimately developing solutions that are specifically adapted to individual patient needs.

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Dr Nigel Finch, Director
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