KOCHI: A 4.8 kg tumour was operated from the jaw of a 19-year-old boy from Jharkhand. He had been living a secluded life for the past 10 years because of the stigma and ridicule he faced in the society until he was found by Dr Sreehari Jingla while doing a medical camp in Jharkhand.
He got afflicted with a rare genetic abnormality that resulted in a jaw tumour. A team of 12 surgeons at Kochi’s Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences removed the external deformity in a surgery lasting 14 hours. The tumour started growing on Amar’s upper jaw in 2008 and protruded out to the left. The dense collection of bone and fibrous tissue was diagnosed as ‘ossifying fibroma’ on initial biopsy examination. This led to difficulty in swallowing and speaking, in addition to social stigma that left the patient home-bound.
“Amar’s medical condition belonged to a very rare disease group called Hyper-parathyroidism Jaw Tumour Syndrome, which arises due to a genetic abnormality and causes small-size tumours on the jaw. If the humongous growth of the tumour had persisted, Amar would have found it impossible to eat, and breathing would have become a struggle,” said Dr Subramania Iyer, head, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.
“The tumour’s removal was complicated by its huge size and the involvement of the entire upper jaw and the left eye.We used 3D printing to construct an accurate model of Amar’s face and tumour, and conducted a mock surgery for practice. We had initially planned to remove his left eye, but managed to save it through meticulous surgery. His nose was reconstructed with bone, with plastic tubes acting as airways,” he added.
Amar has two younger brothers in the family. His father passed away due to malaria in his childhood, and his mother left soon thereafter, leaving the children to be raised by their uncle.“Because of this huge deformity on my face, I could never mingle with other children of my age, as they used to be repulsed by my appearance. It is a huge relief to get the tumour off my face,” said Amar.