Anya Storie was born with a congenital condition. She had an underdeveloped ear which had impaired her hearing. The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh is developing a replacement ear for this child, which might improve her hearing capabilities.
Plastic surgeon Ken Stewart is using 3D printing and scanning services to create a replica of Anya’s left ear which will further enable them to produce the right ear. The right ear will be developed using the cartilage of her rib cage and then using surgical methods. Anya will be able to hear properly after the surgery. The little girl and her parents are very hopeful. Anya has been facing a lifetime of unwanted comments and bullying in school and other places, now hopefully the suffering should come to an end soon.
An Artec 3D scanner is used to scan Anya’s left ear. The left ear which appears on the screen is used to recreate a mirror image, an exact replica of the left ear, which would be used for her right ear scan. The St. John’s Hospital in Livingston then converts the data into a hard copy of the scanning. This 3D printed ear will serve as a mold for creating the real ear of Anya’s rib cage cartilage.
The 3D scanner which immensely improved the capabilities of Stewart’s team was funded by The Edinburgh Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
After the initial rounds of scanning and 3D printing of the ear is complete, Anya will undergo three operations. The first will fit the base structure of a new ear below the skin on the right side of the child’s head. Once the skin attaches itself, a second surgery will place the replacement ear into the ear position. The third surgery will be performed to open Anya’s closed ear canal.