University of São Paulo: USP University Hospital performs surgery with 3D printer support

For the second time, the University Hospital (HU) at USP performs oral and maxillofacial surgery with the help of prototypes created on a 3D printer. Professionals, students and residents of the Dentistry Division of the hospital were able to adapt reconstruction and mandibular fixation plates for a procedure called mandibulectomy, which is the total or partial removal of the chin bone. The ANYCUBIC I3 MEGA printer was seized and donated to USP by the Superintendency of the 8th Tax Region of the Federal Revenue.

“Oral and maxillofacial surgery uses titanium plates, of different thicknesses and shapes, to fix bone fragments in cases of fractures, removal or repositioning. These plates must be contoured and adapted to the different bone positions to obtain the desired results. This done in models, in which the situations that correspond to the procedures and their execution have already been properly studied, corrected and resolved, outside the surgical environment, brings precision and speed ”, explains José Benedito Dias Lemos, professor at the Faculty of Dentistry (FO) from USP and technical head of the Department of Buccomaxillofacial Surgery and Traumatology at HU.

We read that, in addition to the impression of prostheses used on patients, the prototypes created assist in the planning of all stages of surgery in a virtual environment. Printing models of the area to be operated, in real size, allows to “perform” the procedure even before its execution in the human being. “This brings an important time gain in the surgical act, with less wear on the patient and bringing greater predictability in the execution”, he completes.

Photo: Playback / Youtube
José Benedito Dias Lemos, professor and technical head of the Service of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Traumatology at HU – Photo: Reproduction / Youtube



Large-scale mandibulectomy was performed in March 2021 with the printing of prototypes and 3D plates. The patient was the second to benefit from the use of the printer; another case of partial mandibulectomy, without graft reconstruction, also had the 3D prototype plate adaptation.
The plastic surgeon Bernardo Nogueira Batista was part of the team, who performed the anastomosis (connection between part of the tibial artery and the facial artery) for the reconstitution of the mandible. The bone had been partially surrounded by a benign invasive tumor and removed by the HU Buccomaxillary Surgery team.



Printing of models of the area to be operated, in real size, with 3D printer ANYCUBIC I3 MEGA
Images made by Henrique Camargo Bauer, Shajadi Carlos Pardo Kaba and José Benedito Dias Lemos, assistants of the Service of Oral and Maxillofacial Traumatology of the HU.
Digital information
3D printers are already a reality in USP’s teaching and services. In the case of the Dentistry Division of HU, the equipment was made possible by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at USP, a unit that originally received the donation from the Federal Revenue Service.

“The role of the printer in the training of students and residents is extremely promising, as it allows the practical application of new technologies in the health area”, celebrates Lemos. The professor of Maxillofacial Traumatology says that adequate virtual planning can generate increasingly accurate digital information in obtaining 3D models.

Since 1983, HU has performed dental surgery through the Dentistry Division. The activities are organized in the Surgery and Traumatology Service. The Dentistry Division, at USP’s School of Dentistry, is also responsible for the Residency Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Traumatology at HU.

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