If 3D printing has not (yet?) Managed to find a place in everyone’s daily life, in certain areas this technology is working wonders. In London, a hospital has succeeded in implanting a 3D printed ocular prosthesis!
The Moorfields Eye Hospital in London achieved a world first which could inspire many other establishments specializing in ophthalmology. A patient received a 3D printed ocular prosthesis, bypassing the molding step which can be extremely unpleasant.
A much more realistic prosthesis
You should know that an ocular prosthesis is not just a question of aesthetics. The absence of one eye, or an atrophied eye in the eye socket can cause serious conjunctival problems. So it is important that the volume is occupied by something, and so far it is resin prosthesis.
This is almost a very complex artisanal job, but that’s not all. It is also essential to make a mold of the cavity, a painful process which may even require general anesthesia! Specialists at Moorfields Eye Hospital have developed a scanner that will scan the cavity, without an invasive procedure.
The CAD file is then sent to Germany, where the printing takes place. The prosthesis is then refined in the hospital, which proceeds to the fitting. All this requires two to three weeks of waiting, while a classic prosthesis can take several months. In addition, the printed prosthesis is much more realistic, even if obviously (and unfortunately), it does not allow you to regain sight.
After this first successful attempt, the British hospital wants to launch a new clinical trial which will allow it to confirm the results and prove the value of this new technology.