UAE: Filipina expat gets 3D-printed jaw after large tumour extracted in 14-hour surgery

A 3D-printed titanium plate, which replicated the exact shape of Elreen’s lower jaw, was designed to facilitate its reconstruction, using bone from her left leg

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Published: Thu 11 Jan 2024, 4:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Jan 2024, 10:36 PM

A 34-year-old Filipina expat is relieved after a team of specialist doctors successfully performed a 14-hour-long complex surgery to remove a large tumour and reconstruct her entire jaw using 3D printing technology.

“God has given me another day to live,” said a beaming Elreen Ma Lei Ambrocio as the innovative surgical procedure put an end to a long period of severe pain.

The Dubai resident works as a facility management coordinator and is a mother of two young children. She had been experiencing swelling in her lower gum since the early stages of her pregnancy. However, radiological investigations were postponed to avoid risks to her pregnancy. But a year later, severe pain necessitated a visit to her dentist, where she was shocked as X-rays revealed a large tumour spanning the middle to the last molar teeth on both sides of her lower jaw.

Devastated by the diagnosis, Elreen sought further guidance at NMC Royal Hospital, Dubai Investments Park (DIP), where a team of experts, including Dr Bhushan Jayade, consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Ananth Pai, consultant general surgeon, Dr Vikas Kumar, consultant plastic surgeon, Dr Adil, plastic surgeon, and Dr Surjya, anaesthesiologist, worked in collaboration to address her complex case.

Elaborating on the challenges and innovative solutions for jaw reconstruction procedures, Dr Jayade said: “The complexities of this case required us to take several steps to remove the tumour and reconstruct the entire lower jaw. We had to preserve its functionality and its aesthetic.”

Innovative procedure

Employing computer-assisted 3D planning and printing technology, the surgical team used Elreen’s CT scan data to create precise excision guides, ensuring the tumour’s complete removal. A 3D-printed titanium plate, which replicated the exact shape of Elreen’s lower jaw, was designed to facilitate its reconstruction, using bone from her left leg.

Dr Vikas Kumar pointed out: “Shaping the straight bone into a horseshoe, resembling the lower jaw, without compromising its blood supply was a significant challenge, which we overcame using the latest clinical innovations and technology.”

Following the 14-hour-long surgery, executed with precision and teamwork, Dr Surjya emphasised the successful recovery as Elreen resumed her regular duties and expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

Journey of hope, resilience

Following the life-changing improvements, Elreen noted: “It’s nice to wake up in the morning realising that God has given me another day to live. I’m looking forward to embracing my normal life again.”

Hyssop Floria, her husband, expressed his gratitude: “Witnessing the strength and resilience of my wife throughout this journey has been inspiring. We are thankful for the expertise and compassion shown by the medical team at NMC Royal Hospital.”

Dr Pai added: “This case demonstrates the technological advances and world-class treatment facilities available in the UAE. It is a testament to our commitment to providing personalised and quality healthcare.”

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