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Man Gets 3D Printed Ear in Rijeka

Illustration (photo: wikimedia)

Illustration (photo: wikimedia)

An achievement for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rijeka in Croatia, who have in cooperation with the Otorhinolaryngology Clinic at Rijeka hospital, successfully completing an operation by attaching a 3D-printed ear to a patient, daily 24sata reports…

The elderly patient had a 3D-printed of the ear attached after part of his ear was removed due to a skin cancer which was revealed. Because of the size and location of the tumors in his ear he was forced to have part of his ear cut off. New technology means that he was now able to get his ear reconstructed with the help of 3D printing technology.

Dr. Dubravko Manestar, who carried out the operation, said that after the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma, which covered most of the right ear, the patient had the tumor affected part of the ear amputated under local anesthesia.

“After approximately one month when the cut grew over, we opted for this type of operation, which was carried out in a team with Dr. Komljenović. Under local anesthesia we installed the 3D-printed part to the missing area of the right ear. The mould was made with accurate measurements and then a number of models were printed so the most similar to the existing part of the ear could be used, Dr. Manestar told daily 24sata.

Dr. Manestar says that the 3D part of the ear was fixed to the patient with adhesive at the lower and upper part, whilst the middle is flat and free for the ear canal.

3D printer (photo: Creative Tools/Flickr)

3D printer (photo: Creative Tools/Flickr)

“These type of operations are important in cancer patients, especially those who are elderly and are not able to undergo long-constructive surgery under anesthesia. This type of operation makes for an aesthetically acceptable solution, which is also important for the socialization of patients,” Dr. Manestar concluded.

The 3D ear, which is made of a biocompatible silicone, was modeled Sven Maričić together with Sanjin Fućk and Duje Kalajžić. The 3D printer was purchased as part of a university development of research infrastructure project at the University of Rijeka, which was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. CT radiological control was carried out by Damir Miletić together with Antonija Ružić Baršić, whilst the ear was coloured to match the skin by Marijan Požar.

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