3D-Printing Helped Restore This Child's Nose

First Posted: Dec 31, 2015 10:19 PM EST

Fourteen-year-old Dallan Jennet's entire face was severely burned when he fell on a power line. Jennet, of the Marshall Island's, is now the first person in the United States to have received a 3D-printed nose, thanks to health officials at Mount Sinai Hospital.

He just completed the last of six surgeries that finalized the proceses. Back in 2015, the health officials first put expanders under his remaining nose skin to make room under the skin for the new nose to be implanted.

"The procedure is akin to a 'nose transplant' in that we were able to replace the nose with a functional implant," Dr. Tal Dagan, an associate adjunct surgeon at Mount Sinai who led the surgery, said in a news release. "This procedure may be a breakthrough in facial reconstruction because the patient will never have to deal with the standard issues of transplantation, such as tissue rejection or a lifetime of immunosuppressive therapies."

Doctors created the 3D-printed nose based on family models--making sure to customize certain facial features similar to Jennet's. Then, with a 16-hour surgery, they harvested large amounts of tissue and blood vessels from his thigh, according to UPI, removed large amounts of scar tissue from his face and inserted it into his nose and reconstructed the skin over the implant.

With four more surgeries and follow-up exams, he was soon able to smell and taste again.

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