Elizabeth Boorman November 2, 2015

What do you think of when you hear “technology-driven professional”? ‘Surgeon’ should be on the top of that list, according to Dr. Nazimi from the UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC). He felt this, especially when Sharifah was referred to him after a severe accident. Her body was broken in 7 different regions and she had to undergo several major operations.

Dr. Mohd Nazimi Abd Jabar at the UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) with a 3D-printed skull and implant model.
Dr. Mohd Nazimi Abd Jabar at the UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) with a 3D-printed skull and implant model.

Planning for a secondary surgical repair, Dr. Nazimi had quite a challenge as Sharifah had already lost vision in her left eye, with significant deformity of the frontal bone and the upper part of the left orbital rim, leaving her with severe headaches. When approaching this complex surgery, Dr. Nazimi began looking for surgical planning solutions to make this procedure run smoother. He found what he was looking for in OBL, Materialise’s daughter company that focuses on cranio-maxillofacial procedures.

Before and after photos of the patient showing the frontal bone correction
Before and after photos of the patient showing the frontal bone correction

Almost 9 months after the accident, Sharifah had healed enough from other previous operations to undergo another to fill a defect that surrounded the frontal bone and rim of her left eye. Dr. Nazimi began looking for an ideal solution: “When I first began looking for solutions to get Sharifah back to her normal routine, I was impressed by OBL’s willingness to truly work with me. Their clinical engineers provided valuable input so that we could plan this complex surgery together, with the software to really plan the procedure in advance and test out different approaches. All these were discussed via video conference sessions. OBL then provided us with custom-made implants to fit Sharifah’s unique anatomy. This made the case drastically easier than it would be otherwise.”

Left to right : Patient’s skull pre-surgery; Pre-operative simulation with OBL implant; Post-operative 3D reconstruction, showed exact fits of the implant.
Left to right : Patient’s skull pre-surgery; Pre-operative simulation with OBL implant; Post-operative 3D reconstruction, showed exact fits of the implant.

In Malaysia, many surgeons prefer traditional methods that may subject their patient to unnecessarily extensive procedures. Dr. Nazimi on the other hand, prefers a more technically precise approach by planning the details of the surgery prior to the surgery itself.

Dr. Mohd Nazimi Abd Jabar at the UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) using the 3D surgical planning software.
Dr. Mohd Nazimi Abd Jabar at the UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) using the 3D surgical planning software.

This is why Dr. Nazimi opted for Materialise’s detailed and precise planning option. The role of 3D-printed custom implants and 3D surgical planning in cases like this one is to improve the functionality of the patient. In Sharifah’s case, despite the cosmetic benefits to such precision, both Dr. Nazimi and Sharifah sought to restore the projection of her frontal and orbital rim above all, relieving Sharifah of severe headaches and truly making a difference in the patient’s life.

Dr. Nazimi is a strong proponent of using 3D printing technology to assist with surgical solutions. Visit our clinical engineering website to learn more about how you can too.

Dr. Nazimi would like to thank his maxillofacial colleague, Dr. Syed Nabil for his assistance during surgery and Dr Fadzlina, UKMMC Maxillofacial Prosthodontist for the left eye prosthesis.