March 13, 2014 4:44 AM EDT

Former Cardiff barman Stephen Power became one of the first patients in the world to have 3D printing used throughout a reconstructive surgical procedure after he was severely injured in a motorbike accident.

Breaking both his cheek bones, eye sockets, nose and upper jaw, Power could hardly be recognized after the crash in Llantwit Major, Wales, in September 2012. But surgeons at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, CT-scanned his face and produced all the necessary parts to rebuild his features, including the titanium implants, with a 3D printer.

Mr. Power, who said that he was self-conscious about his appearance and used to disguise himself before the operation, said that the procedure was “totally life-changing.”

Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar lauded the “incomparable” results. “Without this advanced technology, it’s all freehand — you just have to guess where everything goes,” he said.

[Sky News, BBC]

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like