In what is believed to be a first in Abu Dhabi, Mafraq Hospital’s team of maxillofacial and head and neck cancer surgeons recently operated on a 16 year old Emirati boy, Mohammed Al Mazem, using 3D technology to remove a large destructive tumour and rebuild the young man’s jaw.
The technology allowed surgeons to use computer-modelling software to create a 3D virtual model of the patient’s facial skeleton in order to aid them in reconstruction and navigation during surgery. These 3D models are used as operative guides before, and during, surgery to help surgeons plan, design and place free tissue transplants and implants for reconstruction with a high degree of accuracy.
The skill of Mafraq Hospital’s team, combined with the technology available, ensured that the patient did not have to travel overseas for surgery and could be treated in Abu Dhabi.
"Previously it seems that the limiting factor for performing such cases in the UAE was reconstruction but now, with this cutting edge technology, we can recreate faces in Abu Dhabi allowing our patients to lead normal lives. Our most recent case was only in the hospital for 9 days and is now home enjoying life," said Dr. John Devine, who led the reconstructive Maxillofacial team.
The Maxillofacial team has performed ten major facial and head reconstructive reconstructive cases with micro-vascular free tissue transfer since January 2015, all of which have been successful. Most of the surgeries carried out relate to cancer of the mouth, face and throat, but the same techniques have been used to treat victims of bomb blasts who were brought to Abu Dhabi for specialist reconstructive facial surgery.
"These surgeries are extremely complex and, in order to ensure a high quality clinical practice, we have built a team from many departments including nursing, critical care and outpatient staff," Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Mafraq Hospital, added.
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