Plastic surgery can help improve quality of life, especially when patients are dealing with craniofacial issues – soft tissues of the face, like the nose and lips, and bones of the craniomaxillofacial (CMF) skeleton. This field helps improve those things that make us human, such as how we talk, look, and use our hands. 3D printing is often used in conjunction with plastic surgery, and, as a pair of researchers in Missouri explain, it’s an excellent specialty in which to better define how the technology is used in surgery.

Alexander Y. Lin, MD and Lauren M. Yarholar, MD, with the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, published a paper, “Plastic Surgery Innovation with 3D Printing for Craniomaxillofacial Operations,” about the four types of 3D printed objects for surgical use, emphasizing plastic surgery and CMF operations, and the technology’s “high clinical relevance to all potential procedures utilizing 3DP assistance.”