How 3D printing enabled the treatment of deviated nasal septum: a story of St. Mary’s Hospital
Deviated nasal septum is recognized when the nasal septum divides the nostrils into two. The most common symptom of a deviated septum is nasal congestion, with one side of the nose being more congested than the other, along with difficulty breathing. The Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service reports states that over 50,000 people received surgery for nasal septal deviation in 2016. Another solution was necessary to facilitate the treatment of this disease.
Scientists from Korea-based St. Mary’s Hospital recently discovered a new way to treat this disease with 3D Printing.
20 patients aged 18-74 took part in a study conducted by Professors Kim Sung-won and Kim Do-hyun of the department of otorhinolaryngology at St. Mary’s Hospital. All the patients suffered from the modification of their nose due to nasal septum correction surgery.
During the study, the team manufactured a splint to insert in the tip of the patient’s nose after calibrating the nasal septum through surgery. The splint was produced using 3D printing technology to hold the artificial implant in place. Furthermore, Korea Biomedical review explained that, through existing experiments, the researchers made a product that had similar characteristics to those of actual cartilage using polycaprolactone (PCL).
The hospital confirmed that no postoperative complications occurred during the experimentation. Moreover, a nasal airway test carried out to determine the cross-sectional area of the nasal cavity through a computed tomography scan demonstrated true improvement. Improvement in the angle of the nasal septum has also been noticed, which indicates the degree of nose bending.
“Although various artificial scaffolds have been tried, nasal septum correction is difficult to treat with autologous cartilage as it is too thick to make the nose narrow or difficult to manipulate,” Professor Kim Do-hyun said. “The results of this study show that the synthetic microstructure PCL inserts, which uses 3D printing, have a thin thickness as a splint, have appropriate mechanical strength, easy to suture and provide convenience for surgery, and exhibit excellent biocompatibility in the patient’s nose after surgery.”
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