3D-printed model helps surgeons correct 2-year-old’s rare facial deformity

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 (Photo courtesy Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital have reconstructed the face of a 2-year-old with a rare facial deformity by using 3D printing, wric.com reported.

Violet Pietrok was born with frontonasal dysplasia, a condition that causes certain facial features to widen, and that has been documented only 100 times, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In Violet’s case, the nose and space between her eyes were widened, which caused her skull to become deformed and complicated her surgery.

A plastic surgeon and neurosurgeon performed the six-hour procedure, which required bypassing her nerves and brain, in October, wric.com reported. They said the surgery would have been challenging without the help of 3D printing.

“The value of the model like this is huge,” Dr. John Meara, plastic surgeon-in-chief at Boston Children’s Hospital, said in a video that details Violet’s surgery. “This gives me the ability to see on this model better than I will in the operating room.”

Meara said 3D printing allowed doctors to plan ahead for incisions and bone cuts they would carry out during the real-life procedure.

 “For Violet, I actually modified my osteotomies (bone cuts) based on something that I was able to see happening in the model,” he said.

Meara told ABC News that he planned to follow up on the little girl’s progress annually and that she may need revision procedures in the future.

Alicia Taylor, Violet’s mother, told ABC News that since undergoing the surgery, her daughter has been all smiles and has started behaving like an ordinary toddler.

“She’s fantastic. She’s taking it all in stride,” Violet’s mother, Alicia Taylor, told ABC News. “She’s so happy … all the time. If she’s not smiling, she’s generally asleep or throwing a fit.”

Acclaimed Author Robert Scanlan to Speak at VSEBT Annual Conference

Acclaimed Author Robert Scanlan to Speak at VSEBT Annual Conference

Robert Scanlan was at the peak of his career with a happy marriage and a big income living the American dream.  Then one day he had strange symptoms and all that changed.  Here is what happened in his own words…

I’ve never been in a hospital before. Checked in today at 6:00 A.M.

At 2:30 P.M. a man introduces himself.
He is about to become my new best friend.

“Your liver is in total failure. We don’t know why. You can’t live without it. There is no cure. No way to fix it.

“We need to find you a new liver to replace the one you have, and the sooner the better. To do that, we need to get you approved for the waiting list. In the meantime, we will do our best to keep you alive day-to-day.”

A soul-searing journey has begun.
My life as I know it… is shredded. The same is true for Marie, my wife of twenty-four years.

Ten years after a successful transplant, I need two additional organ transplants to maintain life.

Were lessons learned from the first transplant? Are they repeatable?
Is the reward worth the suffering?

When all has been lost, can a life be rebuilt? Twice?

 

Robert Scanlan

Robert Scanlan

After experiencing three transplants, Robert Scanlan decided to write down his experiences in order to help others.  His truthful story is laid out without any veneer in “Tigers Under My Bed” a recently released novel that covers his time from first diagnosis to his life today.  The things you will learn from reading it are shocking and helpful at the same time.

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Prior to the release, hospitals, transplant surgeons and patient groups have kept Robert Scanlan in high demand to speak to others to help them through similar circumstances in dealing with traumatic illness, facing death, or being the caregiver in this situation.  Since the publication of the book, Robert Scanlan has been asked to speak to various organizations, including the staff who treated him at the UCLA Medical Center.  Patients, medical staff and their families have all thanked him for his unique narrative which provides insight to what many of us will face in our lives.

Each year, the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Staff (VSEBT) holds an Annual Conference for its members.  This year’s event will be in mid-November.  Guests will be able to hear directly from Robert Scanlan about parts of the healthcare system past, present and future, that few get to understand in such detail until they are thrust into it unprepared.

Robert Scanlan speaking to a group of patients and their families.

Robert Scanlan speaking to a group of patients and their families.

His book is now available on Kindle as well through many hospitals and patient groups.  Prior VSEBT Annual Conference guests have included Dr. Andrew Weil, Congressman John Shadegg, and other prominent leaders in the healthcare industry.  Congratulations to VSEBT for landing such an outstanding speaker for its annual event.

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This year’s event will include other prominent speakers as well.  Tom Boone will start off the event and the Master of Ceremonies will be Tom Elliott.