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Second face transplant operation in Nordic countries performed in Finland

Planmeca ProModel offers virtual surgery planning and patient-specific implants. (Image: Planmeca)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Fri. 4 May 2018

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HELSINKI, Finland: The second face transplant procedure in the history of the Nordic countries was performed earlier this year in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa in Finland. During the first face transplant, conducted in 2016, certain parts of the facial tissue were transplanted. The recent operation was more demanding, as it involved transplanting a larger part of the facial tissue.

The first operation consisted of transplanting the patient’s upper and lower jaw, lips and nose, as well as segments of the skin, midfacial and tongue muscles, and the nerves of these muscles. For this second procedure, more facial tissue was transplanted from a larger facial area. The surgery took 25 hours and was carried out by a group of eight surgeons, as well as 20 nurses and other experts. Dr Patrik Lassus led the medical team, while Dr Jyrki Törnwall was in charge of bone reconstruction. The operation was the 41st of its kind in the world.

Demanding surgery requires not only a skilled medical team, but also technology that ensures efficient planning and safe execution of the operation. In this case, such technology was provided by the Planmeca ProModel service, which offers patient-specific implants and 3-D planning for surgical procedures.

“Cutting-edge 3D technology combined with strong expertise and know-how is the very core of our service. This second face transplant operation in the Nordics was simulated and planned with our 3D technology. For the operation itself, we designed and 3D printed the surgical guides exactly according to the anatomies of the donor and the patient. These guides saved hours of operation time and ensured the accuracy of the operation,” explained Planmeca CAD/CAM Jani Horelli.

“This time we transplanted more tissue than in the earlier operation, so the role of technology was crucial. Planmeca and their 3D technology decreased surgery time by hours and improved the accuracy of the operation compared to traditional methods. Without advanced technology, operations of this level could not be performed,” Lassus concluded.

Face transplant Finland Technology

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