Dr. SM Balaji performed, a veteran craniofacial surgeon, performed a tough yet unique face reconstruction surgery on nine year old Suhail Khan by drilling through his mouth. Talking about his facial deformity of the patient, Dr, Balaji said “He had a condition called hypertelorism, where the distance between the eyes is around 50 mm (normal width is 30 mm) and his nose looked broad. All the structures that normally occur between the eyes are displaced. Sometimes even the brain is positioned lower, and found hanging between the eyes. This condition occurs since birth and can occur alone or as a manifestation of other birth deformities.”
Dr. Balaji recognized that even a smaller mistake during the reconstruction surgery can be dangerous to the patient’s life. Therefore he decided to perform drilling through his mouth. According to the traditional procedure, the doctor would have released the eye socket by cutting the bone on all four sides of the eyes. The upper wall, side wall, lower wall of the eye is accessed through brain, skin and eyelids respectively. Instead of that he damaged the cheek bones with cuts and approached the three walls via mouth, avoiding the outer part of the face. This procedure served dual purpose- first is re-contouring the upper half of the flattened face and second is bringing the eye together.
Following that the scalp was chipped to expose the skull bone and excessive bone above the upper eyelid was removed. This procedure has to be handled with utmost care to prevent any injury to the vital nerves, brain tissue and blood vessels of the eye. After bringing eye bones together and rearranging of the bones of the mid face, the surgery enters into second stage. In the second stage, his nose was restructured making it look more normal. Currently the child is going through recuperation phase and will soon be discharged from the hospital.