Doctors reconstruct boy's jaw with rib bone
January 4, 2011
Just six months after a 12-year-old boy underwent ambitious reconstructive surgery on his jaw, the active seventh grader was back on the soccer field and living a relatively normal life. The surgeon who performed the surgery removed a piece of the patient's rib and used it to recreate his jawbone, the California-based Palo Alto Patch reports.
The surgery was necessary for the boy, who needed to have a bone tumor removed from the same area. If the growth had been left untreated he would have lost the ability to chew.
Doctors in the plastic surgery department at Stanford first removed a 14-centimeter piece of his rib before sculpting it down into a jaw joint. While it remains to be seen if the artificial jaw will grow with the boy, doctors are optimistic that it will, the news source reports.
It is the first time such a surgery, dubbed the Eve procedure, has been completed inside the United States. It has previously been performed by a team in Belgium.
According to WebMD.com, reconstructive surgery can be the ideal route for many children who may have been born with birth defects, and there are more than 1 million reconstructive surgery procedures performed each year.
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