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Bringing 3-D Printing Technology Into The Operating Room

(Photo by Mark Brodie – KJZZ)
A 3-D printed skull (left) and facial implant (right).

We can add facial implants to the increasing list of things -including knives, jewelry and cars- that can be 3-D printed.

Dr. Pablo Prichard, chief of plastic surgery at HonorHealth's John C. Lincoln Medical Center, has been using these implants, mostly to replace lost bone.

"I think it's better cosmetically, as well as better structurally because that implant is much stronger than that metal sheeting we used to put," Prichard said. Cost of 3-d printed implants can range from $10 to $15,000, considerably more expensive than materials such as titanium sheeting which is about $1,000.

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.