Infant from Pakistan has face reconstructed.
Noman Arshad was born with a rare disease which had prevented the bones on his face from fusing. After 18 months, he has finally received surgery that has corrected his deformity.
Noman suffered from a disease called Tessier’s facial cleft type four, where the bones in his face had not fused together. His eyes and nose were joined, as were his mouth and nose, because of the disease that affects one in 1,00,000 children.
Because of his cleft, Arshad was not able to feed properly and developed ‘exposure keratitis’ that affected his sight.
After 18 months of seeing doctors in Pakistan, his parents, Arshad Ali and Raziya, were told to consider approaching hospitals in Chennai. After undergoing a four-hour-long reconstructive surgery at Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Noman is now able to eat normally. The vision in his one good eye would be near normal soon, said S.M. Balaji, director of the hospital.
“The surgery involved several different procedures. First, his tear ducts had to be rectified and then they had to reconstruct a lower eyelid. The boy then underwent a regular surgery for his cleft palate,” he said. “After six months, he will undergo another procedure to help grow the bones on his face. This will be done using Bone Morphogenic Protein powder on a collagen sheet that will be inserted in the areas where the bone needs to be formed,” he added.
“This kind of deformity is caused by a genetic defect that can be because of consanguineous marriages, exposure to radiation or can be hereditary. Usually, the chances of survival of children born with such deformities are low since they are unable to eat, and are more susceptible to infection,” Dr. Balaji said.
One of the major problems that the team faced was in getting the boy down from Pakistan.
“It took over three months for his visa to be cleared. The case was referred to us by Asif Arian, president of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation,” Dr. Balaji said.
The entire cost of transporting Noman to Chennai and that of the surgery was undertaken by Pakistan Dental Association, he added.
According to Noman’s father, even though he was hesitant at first to come to India, he was pleasantly surprised. “Many of our relatives advised us against coming for treatment to India, but once we came here we realised the people are very welcoming and warm,” Mr. Ali said.