Bloke is the world's first patient to receive a 3D-printed eyeball.

A Londoner has become the world's first person to have a 3D-printed eyeball implanted.

Steve Verze, now in his 40s, lost his left eye when he was 20 years old and has relied on prosthetics ever since, which must be replaced every five years.

According to the Daily Mail, the engineer said the plastic acrylic versions made him feel "self-conscious," but that has now changed after he was fitted with a 3D-printed eye on Thursday at Moorfields Eye Hospital, which is said to look far more like a real eye.

While it will not restore his left eye's vision, he hopes it will restore some of his confidence.

With around 60, 000 people in the UK in need of prosthetic eyes, Steve was the first person to be offered the 3D-printed eye as part of a clinical trial.

"I've had a prosthetic since I was 20, and I've always felt self-conscious about it," he explained.

I often take a second look in the mirror before leaving my house, and I don't like what I see.

"This new eye looks fantastic, and because it's made with 3D digital printing technology, it'll only get better."

It currently takes about six weeks for a patient to receive a prosthetic eye, but doctors believe that 3D-printed eyes could cut that time in half, taking only two and a half hours to print.

The new procedure entails scanning the empty socket so that software can create a map of the area, as well as scanning the good eye to ensure it is a match.

The digital maps are then sent to Germany, where they are printed using a 3D printer, before being returned to the hospital, where they are finished and fitted to a patient.

"We are excited about the potential for this fully digital prosthetic eye," said Professor Mandeep Sagoo, a consultant ophthalmologist at the hospital.

"We hope that the upcoming clinical trial will provide us with solid evidence about the value of this new technology, demonstrating how much of a difference it makes for patients and how it can clearly reduce waiting lists."

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