British surgeons utilised 3D printing techniques to save a woman’s life by operating on a cancerous tumour in her nose.

In 2016, Alison Hough from Staffordshire faced a battle against a cancerous tumour, with little initial hope of survival.

After returning home from holiday with what she thought was a cold, but after it persisted, she was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the nose.

The location and nature of the cancer meant a race against time to remove it - but doctors initially feared the operation would be too risky. She was given only weeks to live, and even told not to cry or sneeze lest the cancer cause a catastrophic nosebleed.

In a new film outlining her remarkable case, Alison reveals how scared she was after her diagnosis, saying, “I just felt terribly hopeless and sad”. The grandmother explains: “I think the seriousness of it and the type of cancer that it was, I felt that I was doomed not to live, and that’s very hard because I’m frightened of dying.”

However, Royal Stoke University Hospital surgeons Ajith George and Daya Gahir had a 3D model printed of her face and skull to better understand the extent of the tumour, how to operate, and to eventually help with reconstructing her features after surgery.

The 3D model was vital to the operation, according to Gahir, as the tumour had spread into the brain cavity and eye socket - and as a result the operation required intense planning.

“It was really challenging but I think it was successful because of the planning that we had done, and we could only have done that with what we had,” he says. “And this is where technology really drives what we can actually achieve. Because without that we couldn’t have done this.” Thanks to modern technology, the surgeon’s skills, her determination and her family’s support, Alison is now cancer-free. She now feels fully recovered - and was also delighted to be able to attend her daughter’s wedding and play with her grandchildren.

Alison is sharing her story in a new short film that aims to raise funds for the University Hospitals of North Midlands Charity. The charity helps fund equipment, like the printers Alison’s surgeons utilised, for the hospital. It can be viewed here: https://www.uhnmcharity.org.uk/latest-news/posts/uhhm-charity-premieres-groundbreaking-documentary/

2023-12-04T18:01:29Z dg43tfdfdgfd