A six-year-old boy from Mongolia called Nerja has been given an artificial nose. The boy was born without one, which is a very rare thing to happen. Most children who are born without a nose cannot breath properly, which means most of them die within 12 months. However, Korean doctors have succeeded to give this little boy a new nose using 3D printing techniques.
This operation was performed at the Seon St. Mary’s Hospital by doctors Lee Jong-won and Kim Seong-won in conduction with Professor Jo Dong-woo from the Pohang University of Science. Together they have found a sufficient way for Nerja to breath through the nasal airways and to rebuilt a nose for Nerja. Because of his “brand-new nose” no-one stared at Nerja’s nose anymore.
Since Nerja has arrived in Korea in April, the team of doctors has tried a couple of ways to create a new nose. At first, they tried to use commercially available artificial support, but it appeared not to be useful, because the current artificial support, which is a small cylindrical structure, wasn’t fit well to function in a proper way. Because the nasal airways kept getting clogged, the doctors decided to use a 3D printer in order to let it all work well. And it did, mainly because 3D printing enabled them to create nostrils with the patient’s bone tissues.
According to the hospital, this is the first 3D printed transplant of its kind in Korea. They are now planning to apply for a patent for the use of a 3D printer is cases like this. Here’s a Korean video about this news item:
Image/ video: YTN News.