Liquid Latex Molding: A Novel Application of 3D Printing to Facilitate Flap Design

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The approach to bony craniofacial reconstruction has been significantly enhanced with the development of patient-specific, computer-aided designed and manufactured (CAD/CAM) implants. This technology, however, has not yet been widely employed for soft tissue reconstruction. While algorithmic approaches based on the size, location, and etiology of the defect are effective in most cases, a patient-specific CAD/CAM approach has benefits in complex reconstructive problems. In this study, we present a patient-specific approach to preoperative flap planning: using three-dimensional (3D) printing and liquid latex to create a flexible model of a flap, and demonstrate its application in planning a complex scalp reconstruction.

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