Written By Benedict Via 3ders.org
A young man has had his face totally reconstructed after an altercation left his cheekbone and lower eye socket completely crushed. A 3D printed model of the patient’s skull was used by plastic surgeon Daniel Borsuk to help carve a cheek implant from the patient’s hip bone.
People tend to have mixed opinions about cosmetic surgery. Whilst the obsession with surgical procedures amongst Hollywood celebrities can seem shocking and bizarre, cosmetic surgery can also be used to give a normal life to those born with abnormalities or who have suffered severe injuries. Alex, the young man on whom Dr. Borsuk operated, falls into the latter category. Aged 19, the youth received a severe beating, causing severe damage to one side of his face. The crushed bone gave his face a lopsided look, causing the teen much distress.
Now 23, Alex had several operations to try and fix his face. All surgeries failed, with one causing a dangerous infection and almost ruining the young man’s life. That disastrous attempt caused pus to ooze out of one of Alex’s eyelids for almost a year. The infection caused endless pain for the poor patient, who needed antibiotics and developed a dangerous dependency on painkillers.
Despite his faith in cosmetic surgery being almost destroyed, Alex kept thinking about one particular case which had caught his attention. In 2012, a man whose face had been massively disfigured by a gunshot wound was given an entirely new facial bone structure, over which a new face was attached. That procedure was led by Eduardo Rodriguez, with Canadian Dr. Borsuk also part of the team. Alex sought the help of Dr. Borsuk to see if there was anything that could be done.
When the surgeon asked Alex how the trauma had affected his life, both the patient and his mother started crying. “He said, ‘You have to do anything you can to fix this,’” recalled Dr. Borsuk, who was determined to oblige and reinstate Alex’s lost self esteem. “A lot of my patients don’t leave home. They shy away from society and many lose their jobs because they don’t want to go to work and be seen by people who knew them before.”