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Chinese Girl Gets New Ear Thanks to 3D Printing

3d CAD servicesInnovators are at it again with 3D printing and this time it has been used to give a little girl a new ear! A 9 year old Chinese girl was born with an ear that was deformed. Because of that, she always wished for a normal ear. While many of us take our ears for granted, she did not. Her right ear never fully formed and caused considerable  trouble with her hearing. She was also concerned with its appearance, as well.

According to 3dprint.com, “Using a CT scan of Xiao’s normal left ear, doctors were able to 3D print a mirror image of it. This 3D printed ear model was the perfect tool in aiding surgeons in their endeavor to build a new ear for the little girl. With this model created, University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Hong Kong’s Queen Mary Hospital orthopedic hospital director, Dr. Chen Ruwei, led a surgical team which took cartilage from Xiao’s ribs, and sculpted it into the shape of the 3D printed ear. This process was much simpler than if they had to merely base their ear construction on a 2-dimensional X-ray.”

They also stated that “Once the cartilage was shaped into an almost identical match to Xiao’s normal left ear, it was attached to her head in a process which involved ensuring that there was a sufficient blood supply to the new tissue.  Once attached all the surgeons needed to do was cover it with her own skin and stitch things up.”

What’s interesting is that the little girl doesn’t have a normal looking ear – yet. The attached ear will grow, just as it would as the girl has grown since birth. Eventually it will reach its full growth and then, it will look normal. How amazing?!

A member from the surgical team Tim Tinghui states that “The next step is to wait for the skin flaps and cartilage to grow together, a process which will take about a year. After that, we do two operations. The second phase of the operation involves us being required to ‘dig out’ the ear from the mass of skin, and angle it so that it is symmetrical to the left ear.”

Be sure to stay tuned for more news regarding the ever evolving world of 3D printing and 3D CAD services. As soon as new news hits, we will report it right here, as we always do!

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