The Titanium Mandible Reconstructive Surgery
The mandible reconstructive surgery treatment in Thailand is now getting focused and personalized when we have signed the cooperation agreement with Meticuly Company with the cooperation of the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, for the research collaboration of developing innovative titanium mandible reconstruction device on May 1st, 2019. We are delighted to have Assoc. Prof. Chongdee Aojanepong, Chief of Division of Plastic Surgery, and Lecturer Dr. Nutcha Yodrabum, to share with us very insightful information on this breakthrough innovation.
In the past, patients had to absorb the tremendous cost of the mandible reconstructive surgery and suffer painful surgery wounds.
“The surgery can take more than 2 or 3 times at least in the past as it is very difficult to measure the exact size of patient’s mandible” said Prof. Chongdee.
Moreover, another important aspect of the mandible reconstructive surgery is, will the surgery maintain the facial contour of the patient?
“After considering all pros and cons, I and Dr. Nutcha, along with the engineering team from Meticulty and Chulalongkorn University, had a discussion to develop the new trend of treatment called personalized medicine – it means we treat patients with tailormade according to their conditions.” Prof. Chongdee explained.
“Even you have the same disease, let’s say you have the same cancer but the drugs respond differently in your body and one another, that’s why we provide the different treatment by a study from the individual condition.” Prof. Chongdee continued.
After inspired by the new trend of treatment, the team starts to develop the device by using new material and technique by concerning 2 important aspects – Aesthetic and Function.
“We brought the 3D printing and CT scan to assist us in molding the mandible so the patients do not have to take the surgery many times.” Said Prof. Chongdee
The materials which replace the old mandible is the fibula bone assisted with the titanium in order to maintain the function and shape of the mandible according to the printing, saving a production cost for healthcare provider and patients.
“With this material, patients can gain access to this treatment at a lower price compared to the first world countries where the cost is still very high in treating patients with mandible reconstructive surgery. We also created the fund at Siriraj Foundation to assist patients to afford the surgery cost.” Explained Dr. Nutcha
“The treatment is beneficial in two aspects: First, an increase of efficacy of treatment in aesthetic aspect i.e. patients will have the same facial contour, they can go home with the same facial appearance and their neighbor cannot detect any facial defects even we perform mandible cancer operation; Second,
the patient can still have full control of jaw and gum after the operation.” Dr. Nutcha continued.
With the integrated knowledge in Medicine and Engineering, nowadays, this breakthrough innovation is expected to bring about a better quality of life to Thai people.
“The next step of this innovation is to get patented. All the above signatory ceremonies and cooperation would mean nothing if we are not getting patented. This is a big issue and what we are going to do next so we and our partners can commercialize the device after the development phase is finished with a will to make the devices reach Thai citizens thoroughly” Prof. Chongdee ended up.