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  • Writer's pictureDominic Eggbeer

Pioneering Burns Treatment

The Maxillofacial Lab at Morriston Hospital have pioneered treatment of facial burns for over a decade. Efficient and long-term treatment of facial burns is crucial to reduce scaring and improve functional outcomes for patients.

The team at Morriston Hospital have developed the use of 3d design engineering technologies. These methods reduce the use of invasive impression taking methods and allow accurate, custom-fitting facial splints to be produced. These splints compress the scar tissue and reduce the prominence of scarring over time. This is faster and more effective that conventional methods.

In a recent report, Peter Evans, Maxillofacial Laboratory Services Manager at Morriston Hospital said "We are one of the few maxillofacial laboratory units UK-wide to employ this technology for burns masks, which is recognised by the Katie Piper Foundation as setting the standard for the way burns patients should receive their splints. There is great disparity in the services provided throughout the UK, but hopefully digital technology can help to reduce this by providing services remotely and at less cost. The current system is static, but we are looking at portable cameras that can be posted to local clinical staff to use, so that patients wouldn't need to attend hospital to access this service.”

These 3d design-led methods are possible through various collaborative projects undertaken between the Maxillofacial Unit, PDR and other CARTIS collaborators. Projects supported by the Welsh Government have enabled the purchase of mobile 3d cameras, which allow the methods to become mobile, reducing the need for patients to attend hospital appointments in a potentially fragile state.

The methods are also applied to creating highly realistic facial prostheses. CARTIS has published and presented widely on the use of advanced 3d design engineering methods applied to burns splints and facial prosthetics. This research has direct impact on improving patient care.

Further details of the Morriston services are covered in the recent Advances Wales publication.

3d scanning faces to create burns splints and prostheses

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