Monday, July 26, 2010

Tough Medical Procedures

The Haitian girl who had a 16-pound tumor removed and a entire face reconstruction

Marlie Casseus is a girl from Haiti, whose life was normal until the age of 14, when her face went completely unrecognizable and frighteningly disfigured because of a strange disease. As a result, not only she suffered physical pain but emotional anguish for being rejected by her friends and neighbors. The reason is a rare form of polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a genetic disease that causes the sufferer's bones to become swollen and as soft as jelly. Not only she suffered the deformation of her face but she was about to go blind due to the pressure of the tumor on her eye sockets.
Fortunately, the Haitian nonprofit Good Samaritan organization helped bring Marlie to the United States. And doctors at Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami could evaluate her condition. The hospital's International Kids Fund, began collecting money for her operation. Donations came from all over the world and even doctors donated their time to perform the surgery on the girl.

It took 17 hours to remove the growth of both parts of her face. Afterwards she was breathing on her own in stable condition at Holtz Children's Hospital. The surgery involved first, removing the mass of bone and jelly; then inserting metal plates to reconstruct Marlie's lower eye sockets; and finally reconstructing the interior of her nose. The photographs above show the miraculous result.

The boy who got his elbow amputated and transformed into a new shoulder

In 2008, 15-year-old Tom Lemm had his arm and shoulder amputated due to a tumor. Surgeons then used bone and tissue from his lost elbow to construct a new shoulder. At the same time, a metal support plate was inserted in Tom's collar bone by Professor Simon Kay's team. This will make the boy able to wear a false arm. Tom, who lives in Pontefract, West Yorks, has battled cancer for three years, and is the first person in Britain to undergo the seven-hour procedure, and just the second ever. "I was very upset at losing my arm but then the prof told me what he planned to do. I hope the fact it has worked for me gives others hope", he said.

The kid who had his broken spine rejoined

A 10-year-old boy, from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh, India, fell while playing in a field and the moving blades of a tractor's harrow went over his back cutting his vertebral column into two. After five hospitals said they could not treat him, the boy was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre and operated right away. Doctors at the hospital managed to rejoin his broken spinal cord after performing a rare surgery lasting over eight hours. Nine months later, he is back on his feet and walking without help.
AIIMS Trauma Centre chief M.C. Mishra said: 'I have done extensive research and can conclude that it is a first-of-its-kind case in medical history. Such a case with sharp penetrating injury to the spine in a child causing complete breakage of the lumbar spine in two parts presenting with complete loss of power and sensations is extremely unusual and has not been reported in literature either.'

The 'Tree man' who got six kilograms of warts removed

This Indonesian man named Dede, first noticed the warts on his body after cutting his knee when he was a teenager. Over time, as the horn-like extensions grew to cover most of his body, he was sacked from his job, deserted by his wife and shunned by neighbors. After dealing with this problem for over two decades, the 37-year-old man, dubbed 'The Tree Man', went under surgery and 95 percent of the warts have been removed after nine operations. 'He cannot be 100 percent cured, but his life quality has improved. If once he depended on others to do his activities, now he can eat by himself, use his hand to write, use the cell phone', said Rachmad Dinata, one of his doctors. The warts on Dede's body were a result of severe Human Papilloma Virus infection, according to an American doctor. And they might re-grow, but at least the disease is not life-threatening anymore.

The surgeon who performed a self-appendectomy

In 1921 Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane carried out his own appendectomy. He is believed to have been the first surgeon to have done so. A few years before, in 1919 he self-amputated one of his own fingers that had become infected. But it was the operation of removing his own appendix under local anaesthetic, at the age of 60, which brought him to wider media attention. Dr. Kane did this, in part, in order to experience this from the patient's perspective. He had in mind using local anaesthesia in future on patients with medical conditions that prevented a general anaesthetic being administered, and wanted to ensure that the procedure could be tolerated by the patient. Kane believed ether (the usual general anaesthetic of the time) was used too often and was more dangerous than local anaesthetics. Kane performed the operation with the aid of mirrors to enable him to see the work area. Since then the operation was rather more major than today, the incision to remove an appendix was much larger than modern keyhole surgery techniques. However, Kane was well enough to be taken home the following day.
On another occasion, in 1932 at the age of 70, Kane repaired his own inguinal hernia under local anaesthetic. The hernia had been caused by a horse riding accident six years earlier. The operation was carried out at the Kane Summit Hospital with the press, including a photographer, in attendance. This operation was rather more dangerous than the earlier appendectomy because of the risk of puncturing the femoral artery. The operation lasted 1 hour and 55 minutes.

The baby that was literally born twice

When Chad and Keri McCartney say their baby Macie Hope was born twice, they really mean it. When Keri was on the 23rd week of pregnancy, she and her family went to the obstetrician's office to discover the sex of the baby she was carrying. Then, they discovered a huge tumor growing out from Macie's tailbone. She had to go on surgery right after that.
Macie's 'first birth' happened when surgeons at Texas Children's Hospital took the tiny fetus from Keri's womb to remove the tumor that would have killed her before she was born. On May 3rd, ten weeks after that, Macie was 'born again' and the McCartneys welcomed their surgically repaired — and perfectly healthy — baby girl into the world.

The 6-year-old girl who had half of her brain removed

Jessie Hall is a 6-year-old girl from Aledo, Texas, who underwent surgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center to remove the right half of her brain and stop her seizures. She has Rasmussen's encephalitis - a progressive inflammatory disease that was destroying the right side of her brain - and is a patient of Eileen Vining, M.D., Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Center. Her surgery was successfully performed on June 11th, 2008 by world-renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson, M.D. The radical procedure – called a hemispherectomy – is supposed to make her seizure-free.

Jessie had her first seizure while eating a sandwich aboard a boat on Lake Texana in her home state of Texas. She had her second in kindergarten that September of 2007. Her seizures began to increase in severity and number. Her parents brought her to Hopkins Children's and into the care of its pediatric epilepsy program.

The Indian girl who had four limbs removed

This little girl named Lakshmi, after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, is a 2-year-old that was born with four arms, four legs and extra internal organs. She has been successfully operated in India. The surgery was expected to take 40 hours, but after 27 hours, the procedure was over. Doctors said that Lakshmi would not have much chance of living past adolescence if the surgery had not been done.

The conjoined twin girls who got separated

Formerly conjoined twin sisters Trishna and Krishna were discharged from an Australian hospital five weeks after their separation surgery and just in time to celebrate their third birthday. The Bangladeshi-born girls had made amazing progress since the surgery and were already using walkers to move around the hospital. The girls had been joined at the top of their heads and shared brain tissue and blood vessels before their separation in a 30-hour operation involving 16 specialists. They were given just a 25 percent chance of both recovering completely.

The girls were joined by the top and back of the head, meaning they had never seen each other before.

The baby who had his feet fixed in-utero

Australian surgeons saved the feet of a baby in the womb in 2008 by performing what is believed to be the earliest in-utero surgery of its kind in the world. Constricting bands were cutting off the blood to Leah Bowlen's feet when her mother was 22-weeks pregnant. Amniotic bands were cut by delicate surgery from above the ankles of the unborn baby. Amniotic band syndrome or amniotic disruption complex is a congenital limb abnormality. The condition occurs in between one in 12,000 and one in 15,000 live births. Without the ground-breaking surgery, little Leah would have been born with no feet. Now, there is only an indentation mark around her ankle to indicate the problem that was rectified.

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