Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of model mandibles made preoperatively by additive manufacturing, which were used to prebend reconstruction plates prior to mandibular resection and reconstruction with microvascular bony flaps. Materials and methods: Computer Tomography (CT) or Cone Beam Tomography (CBT) scans acquired preoperatively were used to obtain DICOM data sets to produce a model of the mandible using rapid prototyping. This model was used as a template to prebend and then sterilize a 2.3 or 2.7 reconstruction plate, which was used to reconstruct the mandible with a microvascular bony flap. This technique was used in 20 consecutive patients who required mandibular resection and reconstruction because of a tumour or osteoradionecrosis. Results: The prebent plate was used in all patients intraoperatively without the need for any further bending. The average time to bend a plate on a nonsterile model was 0.42 h (range 0.25-0.68 h). This is felt to represent the minimum amount of time saved during the operation. Additive manufacture of the mandible prior to resection and reconstruction with a microvascular flap is a useful technique which reduces the operating time.
- Rapid protoyping