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    Orbital surgery aided by 3-D printing

    Computerized preoperative planning, intraoperative models can increase precision of fracture repair

    Newark, NJ—Three-dimensional (3-D) printing can produce models of facial skeletons and guides to help orbital surgeons plan repair of complicated fractures, according to Paul Langer, MD.  

    “In the cases where we have used it, the alignments have been excellent,” said Dr. Langer, professor of ophthalmology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark. “In our experience it’s been very, very helpful.”

    Related: Exploring anti-VEGF therapy for orbital vascular lesions

    Dr. Langer and a resident, Leon Rafailov, MD, described their experience with the new technology.

    “Typically, the fracture cases where we’ve used this technology are those with severe comminution or with fragments missing,” Dr. Langer said. “That’s when the technology is most useful because we can anticipate what we’ll find at the time of the surgery.”

    In simple trauma cases where there are only one or two fractures, 3-D printing is not necessary, he said.

    Dr. Langer’s institution does not own its own 3-D printer; it contracts with private companies that print the guides.

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