International News

Indian cranio-facial experts reconstruct Pakistani infant’s face


Chennai: Noman Arshad was born to Raziya and Arshad Ali with a rare congenital deformity known as Tessier’s facial cleft type four; a disease that prevents normal fusion of facial bones. The infant has recently received surgery for the correction of this deformity after 18 months by doctors in India.

Tessier’s facial cleft type four only affects one out of 100, 000 children globally. As a result of the disease, the infant was born with joined nose and eyes, as well as joined mouth and nose. He could not therefore, feed properly and had developed a condition called Exposure Keratitis which affected and obscured his vision.

The parents had consulted a number of leading doctors in Pakistan for the correction of Noman’s deformity, but in vain. The case was then referred to the Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital by President, Asia Pacific Dental Federation, Dr Asif Arain. The Pakistan Dental Association bore the complete cost of the surgery and of transporting Noman and his family to Chennai.  

According to Dr S.M Balaji, it took four hours to complete the reconstructive surgery of the infant’s face at the Balaji Dental and Cariofacial Hospital. Multiple procedures were involved in the surgery including the rectification of tear ducts, reconstruction of lower eye lids and corrective surgery of the cleft palate. As a result, the child can now eat properly and his vision is expected to clear soon. The doctors as the hospital will be performing another procedure after six months involving the insertion of a collagen sheet with Bone Morphogenic Protein Powder at bone formation sites to promote osseous growth.

Dr Balaji also stated that this rare deformity results from consanguineous marriages, hereditary causes and excessive exposure to radiation. The survival rate of infants born with this condition is relatively low as they are unable to feed normally and are also prone to a number of harmful infections that can prove fatal to them.

Arshad Ali and Raziya, initially skeptical about visiting India for the operation are immensely satisfied with the surgery. The infant is healthy and in constant supervision of experts. The parents have expressed their gratitude to the medical team at the hospital for their outstanding services and hospitality.

December 9, 2014

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