CHENNAI: A 14-year-old Iraqi boy, who had compression of his eyeballs and facial deformity had it corrected using an Internal distraction device, believed to be a first for the city. Mustafa Awad, was suffering from Crouzon Syndrome, a genetic disorder, where premature fusion of facial bones takes place, causing abnormal development of the skull. As a result the boy had bulging eyes.
Speaking about the surgery, Dr S M Balajii, craniofacial surgeon at Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, said that the condition occured in 16 babies per million births. The pressure on Mustafa’s eye sockets were increasing because of the compression of bones. He had a sunken mid face and protruding lower jaw which made chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing during sleep difficult.
‘The boys parents, both general physicians practicing in Iraq, were referred to the hospital by relatives. In the old technique, external distraction was used, which had drawbacks like possible infection in the skull and the device fixed in the lower jaw part, which would be protruding and the child has to have it on the face for months till it is removed. But Internal Distraction, the new technique device, is fixed inside the facial bones, opening the scalp of the skull with the adjusting screw in the left side of the skull. Everyday, the screw will be turned to make a one millimetre gap in the bone, which will allow new bones to grow. When these bones grow automatically the eye socket will get space and they will go inside, giving normal appearance to the eyes,’ the doctor added.
He further said that the surgery was done 21 days ago, and 17 mm correction has been done till date. Now the patient’s eyes have become normal and he is going back to Iraq.
The device will be removed from the skull after three months, as the new bones formed need some time to turn strong.