How Surgeons Will be Helped by RAFT’s Research

BBC2 programme “Surgeons: At the edge of life” highlights the work of the talented surgeons at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.   Episode 1 will show maxillofacial surgeons, Tim Martin and Sat Parmar operate on a patient that requires a facial reconstruction after the removal of a cancerous tumour.  They will remove a section of bone and muscle from the patient’s hip to reconstruct her face.

Since being set up by surgeons 30 years ago, the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT) has been creating pioneering new treatments that surgeons can use to reconstruct parts of the body damaged by cancers, wounds, birth defects or burns.  Its facial reconstruction project will help surgeons like Tim Martin and Sat Parmar in their life-changing reconstructive surgery by creating 3D printable biomaterials that will encourage the body to regrow bone, thus avoiding the need to take bone from another part of the body.  RAFT scientists are collaborating with the world-renowned Eastman Dental Institute (UCL) and Queensland University of Technology in Australia to get this research to patients as quickly as possible.

Director of Research, Dr Elena Garcia, said today “The RAFT team consists of scientists and surgeons, working together to come up with ways of improving the treatment for patients.  Our facial reconstruction programme of research is aimed at giving surgeons more advanced tools so that they can continue to make the life-changing work they do and reduce the impact on patients by avoiding the need to take grafts from other parts of the patient’s body.  We plan to have this technology available to surgeons within the next few years.”