The story behind India’s first 3D-print modelled, customised maxillofacial implant produced by Auxein Medical in collaboration with CSIR and PGI, Chandigarh.
Ravinder Singh is a modest transporter from the agricultural district of Hoshiarpur in Punjab, India. Since he got married recently he has been all smiles. His friends, colleagues and people who interact with him on a daily basis love the transformation he has undergone from settling into a husband’s role.
However, in November 2015, a fungal infection threatened to steal his cheer when it spread from his upper right jaw to his maxillofacial bones on the right of his face. His was a difficult case of Mucal Mitosis that confounded many doctors before he approached the experts at PGI (Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh) in January 2016.
At PGI, Associate Professors Dr. Vidya Rattan and Dr. Sachin Rai acknowledged two big challenges: Firstly, Mr. Singh’s right side zygomatic complex and lateral vital wall had to be completely replaced, but in a manner so it wouldn’t affect the right eye which was partially contained in the affected area. Secondly, as Mr. Singh was newly married, he was especially concerned about the aesthetic impact of a maxillofacial implant in his face.
Dr. Rattan and Dr. Rai called on Dr. Vijay Kumar Meena, a scientist at CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India), with whom the Auxein Medical design team frequently collaborates for innovations and improvements. Dr. Meena worked with our teams, employing advanced 3D imaging and printing techniques to achieve facial symmetry in an implant that was custom-designed for Mr. Singh. It took four months of delicate adjustments to fine-tune the many curvatures involved in the multiaxial implant that was perfectly suited to Mr. Singh’s specific defect.
Finally, in April 2016, the implant procedure took place successfully with sponsorship from Auxein. The surgeons on the case were especially relieved because the perfect fit of the customised implant meant that the patient’s right eye was not compromised. This was the first time such a challenging operation, where the entire lateral wall was replaced without affecting the eye or aesthetics, had been carried out.
By June 2016, Ravinder Singh was already telling us how his smile was the same as ever, just the way his wife likes it! You can watch his complete story here.
Ravinder Singh’s case was a pioneering moment in India when a 3D-print modelled custom implant had been employed at a fraction of its cost abroad. While this procedure is fairly common in developed countries like Germany and USA, where funding comes largely from insurance and the government, in India it has remained prohibitively expensive. However, our R&D and design teams at Auxein took this on as a project of passion and we are happy to declare the start of a new era in improved patient recovery.