A hospital patient will be the first person in the world to have a 3D printed eye prosthesis.
Steve Varze from Hackney, East London, will receive the eye on Thursday at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.
Hopefully the eye will be more realistic than a traditional acrylic eye prosthesis.
In addition, the time it takes to supply patients with their prosthesis has been halved from six to three weeks.
“I’ve needed a prosthesis since I was 20, and I’ve always felt insecure about it,” says Varze, in my 40s.
“When I leave home, I often take a second look in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw.
“This new eye looks amazing and just keeps getting better based on 3D digital printing technology.”
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With a traditional prosthesis, a patient has to go through a two-hour session to model their eye socket before the prosthesis is fitted and then painted.
The 3D-printed prosthesis should shorten the manufacturing process to two to three weeks, with the first appointment only taking half an hour according to the hospital.
Professor Mandeep Sagoo, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, said staff are “excited” about the potential of an all-digital prosthetic eye.
“We hope that the upcoming clinical trial will provide strong evidence of the value of this new technology and the difference it makes to patients.
“It clearly has the potential to reduce waiting lists.”