More than two months ago, a team of US surgeons from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center managed to remove a 6-pound tumor from a Gambian girl’s month. The complex surgery took nearly 10 hours to complete, and the surgeons had to remove most of the girl’s lower jaw in the process. The intervention was successful, and the 12-year-old girl is expected to make a complete recovery.
Janet is a typical 12-year-old girl from Gambia. She loves outdoor activities and learning new things. However, the Gambian girls had a hard time socializing due to an outgrowth she had in her mouth. Five years ago, Philomena, Janet’s mother, noticed that the girl had a swelling on her face and took her to the doctors.
After examining her, the doctors told Philomena that it’s nothing to worry about and gave the girl a clean bill of health. However, the swelling didn’t go away. Over the next five years, the swelling turned in a fully grown tumor, which covered most of Janet’s lower jaw.
After the surgery, the girl told the reporters that she was forced to wear a scarf around her neck to cover the tumor and it became increasingly hard to talk and even to eat.
Dr. David Hoffman, one of Janet’s surgeons, declared that if the girl chose to cancel the surgery, in less than six months, she would have died of starvation, as the tumor made it impossible for her to eat properly.
Hoffman added that Janet’s surgery was more than challenging, given the fact that the tumor was close to the major carotid artery. Furthermore, the area covered by the benign tumor was teeming with facial nerves and muscles.
In order to prepare for the surgery, Dr. Hoffman and his team had to train on the 3D model to figure out how he can safely extract the tumor without damaging the girl’s facial nerves.
Janet’s surgery was performed on the 16th of January at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center. The surgery took more than 10 hours to complete, but the doctors were able to remove the 6-pound tumor. However, due to its location, the surgeons were forced to remove Janet’s lower jaw, which they then rebuilt using a bone graft taken from Janet’s right leg.
The 12-year-old’s surgery was successful, and the young lady is expected to make a complete recovery. At the moment, Janet and Philomena are planning their trip back to Gambia while they’re waiting for the doctor’s green bill of health.
Image source: Pixabay