Baby's face reconstructed at Victoria Hospital

Baby's face reconstructed at Victoria Hospital

As usual, Fathima Noor (name changed) had woken up early on Thursday to feed her baby and also to eat something before beginning her fast. She left her son on the bed for a little while when a piece of plaster from the roof fell on the baby, which crushed the left half of his face. The injury was so grave that it tore open the corner of his mouth and fractured the lower left jaw.

Fathima's father immediately rushed the baby to the nearby private hospital but to their dismay were turned away with the excuse that there were no doctors. This was just the beginning. The family then took the baby to two other private hospitals, one of which asked for Rs 25,000 for surgery. They then visited two government hospitals before ending up at Victoria Hospital.

"We put the baby under anaesthesia, which itself took 45 minutes. After that we had to labourously suture four to five layers to properly reconstruct the left side of the baby's face," said Dr B G Tilak, medical superintendent, Victoria Hospital. After nearly five hours in operation theatre, the team of plastic surgeons and anesthetists were able to salvage the baby's face by reconstructing it. He added that the surgery was done free of cost.

As the baby had lost a lot of blood, 30 ml blood was also given during the surgery. A tube was put from the baby's mouth to the stomach so that the mother's milk could be fed to him. However, he will remain in the hospital for another three to four days. "We lost count of the amount of sutures (stitches) we did. However, we don't have to take it out as it will absorb into the skin. After a few years, the child will have to do scar revision because with the skin stretching with age, even the scars will expand," said another doctor, who treated him.  

For Noor, it looks like the Id would be spent at the hospital, albeit with relief that her only child is safe.

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