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Doctors reconstruct disfigured face of cancer patient

Update: February, 05/2016 - 14:24
In a 14–hour operation, doctors partly reconstructed a patient's face that had been disfigured by cancer. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese doctors have successfully reconstructed a patient's face that had been disfigured by cancer.

The 60-year-old Laotian patient underwent two surgeries to remove a face tumour in Thailand 20 years ago, and then the doctors there grafted her face's skin on the area affected by the tumour's removal.

However, another tumour grew in the area from where the previous tumour had been removed, spread to other parts of the face and devoured her nose, upper lip and palate.

The patient went to various hospitals in Laos and China, but the doctors could not treat her.

She came to Viet Nam in an exhausted state at the end of last year. Doctors at Saint Paul and Ha Noi Medical University hospitals diagnosed that her cancer was not metastatic and could be operated upon.

After she spent a month recovering her health, the operation was done on January 28 by top Vietnamese doctors trained in rhinoplasty and palate operations, such as Prof Trần Thiết Sơn, Prof Nguyen Huu Tu, Ass and Prof Le Văn Sơn, as well as 10 nurses.

Prof Trần Thiết Sơn said the operation used many advanced reconstruction techniques such as microsurgery and tie beam and 4D techniques in the 14-hour operation.

The patient is now conscious, and the skin graft on her nose is ruddy in colour.

"The patient needs about 40 days to rest before another operation can be conducted to reconstruct her nose," Sơn said.

He said the operation was very complicated, and there were few patients in the world on whom it could be done.

"It is a remarkable achievement for Vietnamese medicine. After the nose is reconstructed, 70 per cent of the patient's original face will be restored," Sơn said. — VNS

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