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Gurgaon doctors reconstruct Delhi doctor's jaw using 3D technology

Doctors at a hospital in Gurgaon used 3D technology to reconstruct the lower jaw of a 53-year-old Delhi-based physician. The left side of her jaw was removed surgically due to cancer. The surgery which took 12 hours, was performed by a team of eight doctors including Dr Sanjay Mahendru and Dr Rahul Jain from the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery, Medanta. After removing the jaw, it was reconstructed in the same operation theatre. According to Dr Deepak Sarin, vice chairman, head and neck oncology cancer institute, Medanta, removal of the jaw not only causes disfigurement and alters the facial structure, but also hinders speech and the ability to eat. "Jaw is like a swing, which is suspended from both sides. When a part of the jaw is removed, it loses support and the ability to bite and chew is severely compromised. Most patients are limited to either a liquid diet or blended food." Since the jaw is the framework of the mouth when it is removed, the whole mouth collapses and it changes the position of the tongue and the size of the mouth that affects the speech, he said. In this case, CAD cam 3D technology was used to remake the jaw and replicate its original appearance. A bone from the leg was used for reconstructing it. "The bone taken from the leg cannot be bent. It needs to be cut, angled and given the shape to match the original jaw. Without 3D technology, we could only estimate the angles of reconstruction. If the same was off even a little, the teeth would not align properly and the entire structure of the mouth would fall apart," said Dr Mahendru. The shape of the jaw was put into the CAD-CAM tech and then the surgery was performed virtually via the software - shaping the bone from the leg in the correct angles, and cutting it where required. "Once the virtual surgery was conducted, the surgery was replicated in the operating room. This is where 3D printing comes...frame by frame, the bone is cut and shaped and inserted into the jaw," said Dr Jain. Talking to TOI, the patient said, "After physiotherapy, I am able to speak. Though I started walking on soft track after six weeks of surgery, I joined the full-fledged practice after six months." She was diagnosed with jaw cancer on June 23 last year and resection and reconstruction of the jaw were conducted on July 8.
Dr. Sanjay Mahendru
Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery
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