News and Events

Changing Lives with 3D Printers

Publication Date: 3/16/2017 | by: Rambam

​The use of a 3D printer became one of the most important tools in restoring this man's face.

​Photo: Professor Ziv Gil during the surgery.
Credit: Ofer Golan.​Photo: Professor Ziv Gil during the surgery. Credit: Ofer Golan.

Adam Malca, 27-years-old, from Eilat suffered from a benign tumor in his forehead for 10 years—a tumor that also flawed his facial appearance. The tumor placed excess pressure on his eyes and his sight was at risk. For years, Adam had been asking physicians to remove the tumor; however since it was benign (not cancerous), no one was willing to remove it. No one, that is, until he went to see Professor Ziv Gil, Director of Rambam's Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Professor Gil promised to help him.

A few weeks ago, a multidisciplinary team including neurosurgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, ear-nose-and-throat physicians, and anesthesiologists took part in a complex operation to remove the impaired, protruding section of Adam's skull, and to restore the area to its normal appearance. Hence, a 3D printer from Rambam's Center for Medical Innovations became the basic, and most important, tool for the surgery’s success. After removing the tumor, the second half of the surgery began: reconstruction of Adam’s new forehead. Rambam's 3D printer was used to create an implant based on the mirror-image of the healthy part of Adam’s skull.

Two weeks later, Adam returned to Rambam for follow-up care. Other than mild swelling near the incision, there was no reminder of the protuberance that had been on his brow for a third of his life. "The cosmetic results were excellent! This young man has his whole life ahead of him," exclaimed Professor Gil. Sitting beside his girlfriend Einat, Adam beams from ear to ear. "I look in the mirror and cannot believe what I see," he cries. "no one stares at me anymore!"

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