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This surgery has been taught for decades using Styrofoam cups. 3-D technology is changing that

fixing-faces-cleft-palate-simulator-2048x1152-2One of the world’s most common surgeries in children has been taught for decades using a Styrofoam cup.

Cleft lip and palate repair is a delicate procedure, and the outcome is sometimes hard to predict. One wrong move inside the tiny mouth of a 1-year-old could mean a child with speech defects, problems eating, or lifelong problems breathing. Training for the surgery takes years of practice — surgeons are still improving 10 years after they graduate, said Dr. Christopher Forrest, chair of plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery at the University of Toronto.

By Blair Bigham | STAT

Image courtesy of Dale Poldolsky

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