Dramatic Facial Surgery in Africa

It is common knowledge that the peoples of undeveloped nations have less access to the type of medical care we in the United States often take for granted. However, it may hard to imagine how extreme the struggle can become for individuals with progressive, but non-fatal diseases, that go for long periods without treatment.

Tim Bartholomew, DDS and his wife, Huyen Bartholomew, MD are a husband and wife team made up of a highly trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon and an anesthesiologist respectively. They have dedicated a large part of their professional careers thus far to helping provide treatment for individuals in places with limited access.

A recent article published in AAOMS Today, a publication of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, details the treatment of a patient suffering from an ameloblastoma of the lower jaw. Ameloblastoma is a non-cancerous, but aggressively growing tumor that most commonly affects the mandible, or lower jaw. In the instance detailed in the article, a patient suffered with this growing tumor until it reached a size in excess of 12 pounds.

With a tumor protruding from his mouth that was literally larger than the patient’s head, the basic functions of life became almost unmanageable. His appearance necessitated wrapping his head and the associated tumor in a cloth to avoid the attention and shock of others in public.

When Dr Bartholomew became aware of this gentleman’s circumstance, he made arrangements to travel to Chad and help. In a two-stage process, the tumor was removed, and later the mandible reconstructed with bone taken from the patient’s hip. The kindness and generosity of both Doctors involved in this man’s care represent the best our profession has to offer. We are proud to call them our colleagues.

Read the original article here: http://aaoms.org/docs/aaoms_today/issues/2015_06.pdf

%d bloggers like this: