Ms Yating Wei1,2, Ms Walei Zhang1, Mr Sidney Wong3, Mr Stanley Ngai3, Prof HC Man3, Prof Cecilia Li-Tsang1
1Department of Burn Surgery,the Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China , 2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University , , Hong Kong, 3University 3D Printing Center, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, , Hong Kong
Facial hypertrophic scars caused by burn injuries usually result in disfigurement, discomfort, dysfunction as well as deprived quality of life (QoL). Children with facial hypertrophic scars are no stranger to developmental delay and disrupted family dynamics, and even abandonment. Transparent facemask was introduced as one method to treat facial scar based on compression therapy concept. By integrating 3D printing, 3D scanning technologies as well as computer assisted design (CAD), an innovative transparent 3D-printed facemask with silicone gel lining can be produced with increased efficiency and accuracy to provide the optimal pressure on the complex contour of the face, when compared to the traditional method of fabrication.
The method of production of the 3D printed facemask and its clinical effectiveness would be presented in this paper. The facial contours of the patients with facial burns were scanned with a portable 3D scanner. The scanned 3D file was processed and modified with CAD software before 3D-printed. Subsequently, medical grade silicone gel was lined on the inside surface of the mask. The facemasks were fitted on the patients’ faces with elastic straps. The biomechanical principles governing the fabrication of the face mask together with the choice of printing materials would also be presented. Based on two case studies, the clinical results showed positive changes of scar thickness and the overall conditions of the scar after one month of intervention. To conclude, the innovative 3D-printed transparent facemask appeared to demonstrate its efficacy on management of facial scars.
Ms Eve Walei Zhang is a PhD student from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.