Plastic surgeons remove large jaw tumours
KIJABE, Kenya: Surgeons from Africa have removed most of the maxilla and mandible of a young man who was severely disfigured by two massive tumours in his jaws. The maxillary tumour obstructed his nostrils completely, while the mandibular one prevented him from ingesting anything other than fluid.
According to the doctors, the patient first noticed a small swelling over his right maxilla about two years ago and another over his mandible shortly afterwards. The tumours grew steadily over time and caused the 21-year-old severe difficulty in eating, speaking and breathing. However, the high costs of removal prevented him from obtaining surgical care.
As reported by the surgeons, a radical maxillectomy and wide excision of the mandibular tumour were performed. In the same surgery, the surgeons were able to reconstruct the patient’s palate, nasal lining and midface using a supraclavicular flap and reconstruction plates. The doctors said that they had achieved an excellent outcome with the technique.
When the patient was discharged from the hospital one month after the surgery, he was able to feed himself, speak with little difficulty and breathe comfortably. His doctors reported that the man remains well one year after the operation.
According to the surgeons, osteosarcomas are the most common primary malignant bone tumours in the head and neck region. However, osteosarcomas of the jaw are fairly rare and account for only 2 to 10 per cent of all osteosarcomas.