For the first time ever in Serbia, the surgeons from the Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic at the Clinical Centre of Vojvodina have performed an operation during which a patient from Novi Sad had his cheekbone and a section of the temporal bone replaced with a titanium implant.
The head of the Clinic, Professor Aleksandar Kiralj, PhD, says that patient is quite young and that he had a congenital facial deformity. Now, his face is symmetrical and the quality of his life has improved immensely.
Similar operations have been performed at the Clinical Centre of Serbia and the Clinical Centre of Nis but never with titanium implants. These implants are usually used for reconstruction of various deformities of the upper and lower jaw, and facial bones.
“In order to perform this kind of surgery, we first had to do CT diagnostics based on which we performed facial reconstruction. The CT snapshots were then sent to Professor Igor Budak at the Novi Sad Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences who then did a 3D model based on which we did the reconstruction”, Dr Kiralj explans.
Sometimes bones are used in this type of reconstruction because they have nerve endings, blood vessels and skin cells which could increase a risk of infection. However, titanium implants have proven to be much better and the risk of infection is minimal. Each titanium implant is tailor made for patients. The patient who had the titanium implant surgery at the Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic in Novi Sad is only 20 years old, had a congenital deformity and a benign tumor that has spread across the cheekbone.
“The cheekbone never stopped growing ever since he was born. The operation lasted about three hours and our patient is very happy with the results considering that this is a very visible part of the face”, Dr Kiralj said.
In cooperation with Professor Dominic Eggbeer, PhD, from the Cardiff Metropolitan University, the surgeons from Novi Sad got the surgical limiters for free which were then used to mark the area from which the bone was removed and the implant positioned. Dr Kiralj said that the material for this kind of surgery costs between 500 and 600 EUR.
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