Morriston Hospital’s Kelly Morris has become the first reconstructive scientist in the UK to graduate from a specialist new course.
Kelly spent the past three years training at the hospital’s Maxillofacial Laboratory, combining her placement with her studies for the Reconstructive Science programme based at Manchester Metropolitan University and Kings College, London.
Former dental nurse Kelly said: “It has been a lot of hard work at times, I have had to travel and take part in online lecture but I always wanted to do this. It is so rewarding.”
Reconstructive science is concerned with the corrective treatment of patients with malformation, cancer or trauma – especially in the skull, jaw and face. Reconstructive scientists and maxillofacial prosthetists work closely with patients to provide prosthetic facial and body prostheses improving self-esteem and social rehabilitation.
During her time at Morriston Kelly developed several novel and innovative techniques particularly in post-mastectomy reconstruction, which has built upon previous research and studies undertaken by CARTIS.
She also created the head phantom she nicknamed Mr Ed as part of her MSc project into studying ways of checking doses of radiotherapy needed for cancer patients. PDR's Surgical & Prosthetic Design and Prototype & Manufacture teams helped Kelly create the physical model using a range of 3d printing and low volume production methods.
“The basic concept is that the head phantom would be used to verify radiotherapy treatment plans for patients with head and neck cancer. It is completely tissue equivalent to natural head tissues.
“It is broken down into multiple sections so radiographic film can be wedged between sections and verify the radiation dose at the target volume,” she said.
An article she wrote about the project has now been accepted by the British Journal or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Maxillofacial services manager Peter Llewelyn Evans said: “We are very proud of what Kelly has achieved and extremely grateful that our Therapies and Health Science and Workforce Education and Development Service supported the post.
“It is a feather in the cap of ABMU that our student is the very first in the UK to graduate.”
Kelly, who is originally from Barmouth in Gwynedd, is now leaving South Wales to take up a post at Birmingham.
“I have loved my time here at Morriston, we have done some amazing things and developed new techniques. It was where I always wanted to train and I hope that one day there might be the opportunity for me to come back.”
Link to the ABM UHB story here.