Low-Cost 3D Printing Orbital Implant Templates in Secondary Orbital Reconstructions

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Abstract

Purpose:

Despite its increasing use in craniofacial reconstructions, three-dimensional (3D) printing of customized orbital implants has not been widely adopted. Limitations include the cost of 3D printers able to print in a biocompatible material suitable for implantation in the orbit and the breadth of available implant materials. The authors report the technique of low-cost 3D printing of orbital implant templates used in complex, often secondary, orbital reconstructions.

Methods:

A retrospective case series of 5 orbital reconstructions utilizing a technique of 3D printed orbital implant templates is presented. Each patient’s Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine data were uploaded and processed to create 3D renderings upon which a customized implant was designed and sent electronically to printers open for student use at our affiliated institutions. The mock implants were sterilized and used intraoperatively as a stencil and mold. The final implant material was chosen by the surgeons based on the requirements of the case.

Results:

Five orbital reconstructions were performed with this technique: 3 tumor reconstructions and 2 orbital fractures. Four of the 5 cases were secondary reconstructions. Molded Medpor Titan (Stryker, Kalamazoo, MI) implants were used in 4 cases and titanium mesh in 1 case. The stenciled and molded implants were adjusted no more than 2 times before anchored in place (mean 1). No case underwent further revision.

Conclusions:

The technique and cases presented demonstrate 1) the feasibility and accessibility of low-cost, independent use of 3D printing technology to fashion patient-specific implants in orbital reconstructions, 2) the ability to apply this technology to the surgeon’s preference of any routinely implantable material, and 3) the utility of this technique in complex, secondary reconstructions.

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