CHENNAI: A 53-year-old man from Seychelles, who was affected with oral cancer can now smile for photographs and talk to the people, thanks to doctors here, who reconstructed his complete lower jaw of the mouth.
Doctors had removed Richebert’s lower jaw to avoid spreading of cancer to other parts of the body. Richebert was diagnosed with second stage of oral cancer that corroded half of his tongue, his complete lower jaw and teeth, making it tough for him to eat or talk. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy did not relieve Richebert from cancer.
The patient was then referred to Dr Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital here for the removal of the affected portion and reconstruction of the removed part.“I removed the lower jaw, that is, a portion below the tongue, angle-to-angle connection in the jaw and a portion of the chin. Then I fixed a tool — Transport Distraction in the lower jaw and left it for a month-and-a-half. This helped him form a new jaw bone, and closed the gap,” said Dr S M Balaji, Director of the hospital.
The doctor took chest muscle to fill the gap. Then skin was grafted from the thigh and attached to the gums to enable dental implant, as the patient had lost his teeth. “The whole procedure took nearly three months. This is my first successful jaw reconstruction surgery in an oral cancer patient,” said Dr Balaji.