Facial surgery gives new lease of life to Yemeni twins

The twins, Ahmed and Shad, with the cleft lips and nose deformities, had both breathing and speech problems. 

Published: 30th June 2019 09:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2019 09:44 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

NEW DELHI: Doctors at a city hospital performed a delicate surgery to fix the cleft lips and noses of two nine-year-old Yemeni twins.

A cleft lip is an opening or split in the upper lip that occurs when developing facial structures in an unborn baby don’t close completely. According to the medical director of KAS Medical Centre and MedSpa, Dr Ajaya Kashyap, a cleft lip and associated nose and palate deformities lead to a problem in breathing and speech.

The twins, Ahmed and Shad, were not able to breathe properly and their speech was also affected. At school, their appearance affected their confidence. The surgery, conducted around two weeks ago, was successful with no rejection or complications, Dr Kashyap said. “Usually, to correct cleft lip deformity, that also includes reconstruction of a part of the nose and upper lips, we need to take cartilage and fats from the rib bone of a patient."

“However, in this case, one of the boys was not healthy enough for this procedure. So, we took cartilage and rib fats from one of the twins and used on both of them. Since the donor was an identical twin, it made for a great genetic match for the recipient,” the doctor said.    

However, the major challenge in transplant therapy is rejection, wherein the immune system of the recipient start producing antibodies against the donor cells. A cleft lip is a congenital defect that affects 3.28 per 10,000 children worldwide.                

With inputs from PTI.


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