Leaving Them Smiling

It’s a procedure that leaves both the client and the cosmetic surgeon with smiles on their faces.

Surgery to correct the effects of Moebius syndrome– a rare congenital condition that can immobilize an individual’s whole face and affect muscles that manage back-and-forth eye movement– can make it impossible for a person to show that sign of happiness that the majority of people consider given.

Such held true for 8-year-old Abraham Chavez, known as AB, prior to Dr. John Menezes, associate professor of plastic surgery at the UNLV School of Medicine, stepped in.

When AB’s situation was blogged about in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017, he was a kid who simply wished to be like everybody else.

” I simply want to be able to smile like other kids,” he said prior to his surgery at University Medical Center. AB didn’t have all the possible issues related to Moebius syndrome. His eye function was regular, but he might not smile.

A Valuable Contribution

As for the doctor, he said he always has actually wished to be able to make a distinction in individuals’s lives.

” To be able to change a child’s life, change a whole family’s life for the much better, is satisfying,” said Menezes, the only fellowship-trained (Johns Hopkins University School of Medication) craniofacial cosmetic surgeon in Las Vegas.

What Menezes did in a nine-hour procedure was transplant the expendable, thin gracilis muscle and its associated nerve from AB’s thigh to his cheek.

It is painstaking surgical treatment. The nerves and blood vessels included are no more than 2 millimeters in size. Stitches are finer than a human hair. Dissection of the tissues and connection of the artery, vein, and nerve takes 6 to 8 hours.

First, Menezes created a facelift-type cut in front of AB’s ear and extended it below the angle of his jaw. Then, similar to a facelift, the skin and fat were raised from the cheek, producing a pocket to accept the muscle transplant.

Inning accordance with Menezes, biting down is initially required to produce a smile, but later a kid can adjust and learn to smile in an almost spontaneous manner.

” We have to continue to turn lives around,” stated Menezes, who frequently handles cleft lip and taste buds repair work, ear restoration, microsurgery, adult and pediatric facial trauma, and the correction of skull abnormality.

Significant Requirement

“Mentor medical trainees and citizens in this field is crucial. Remember cleft palate takes place in one in a thousand births. So if there are 40,000 new children born a year in Nevada, there are 40 infants who need cleft surgery each year. That’s simply for the main reconstruction, and after that there are secondary surgeries in early childhood and last restorations in the teenage years.”

Menezes, who likewise does optional cosmetic surgery, will once again embark on a pediatric cosmetic surgery path that took him to the Philippines to fix cleft palates.

“I wish to take medical students with me. I stopped (going) for a few years while I was growing my own family,” said the father of 2, “but now it has to do with time to start that work once again.”

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