Women disfigured by horrific tumours given new faces

PHOTO: Women disfigured by horrific tumours given new faces

Two Vietnamese women with horrific tumour disfigured faces have been given a new lease at life, having just woken from surgeries which have given them new faces and a fresh hope in life.

They underwent procedures to remove their tumours over the weekend, with the surgeries undertaken by Dr McKay McKinnon, Tuoitrenews reported.

The famous American surgeon also recently operated to remove a 90kg tumour on a Vietnamese man's leg.

Both patients - who were diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (human genetic disorder) - are now able to open their eyes and move their arms, hands, legs, and other parts of their body, Dr Tran Quyet Tien, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital, announced.

One of the patients, Kieu Thi My Dung, was previously burdened with a 1.5kg tumour hanging off her face.

The genetic condition had caused large tube-like tumours to grow from the right side of her face over the years. The tumours reportedly began as a small tumour developing near her eyelid when she was three months old.

The unrelenting growth of the tumours eventually disfigured her face, giving her face a "melted" appearance. Now the surgery has removed most of the disfiguration, and she is making a good recovery.

She can now breathe and drink milk by herself, the doctor said.

Dung's tumour was removed on January 6.

Intensive surgery needed

Tuoitrenews reported that the 20-member surgical team then used a part of the patient's skull bone to recreate her right eye socket, which had been seriously damaged by the tumour.

The team also repositioned her right cheekbone into a more symmetrical position with her left one, and recreated the ciliary muscle of her right eye.

Her right ear would be also recreated, the doctor said.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Thach Thi Sa Ly, who had thousands of bubble-like lumps covering her body from toe to face, is conscious but is expected to have a slow recovery.

Read: Woman's body covered with thousands of tumours

This is as fluid still leaks from her incisions, said Dr Le Hanh, head of Cho Ray's Plastic Surgery Department. She may have to undergo more surgeries to remove the remaining tumours in the future.

On a positive note, Dr Hanh said Ly's incisions do not show any symptoms of infection. However, she does have to drink milk through a gastric fistula.

On January 7, Dr McKinnon (with assistance from a team of doctors and nurses of Cho Ray Hospital) removed a total of 10 kg of lumps from her body - mostly from her forehead, chin, hands, buttocks and around her eyes.

Ly, from a small, rural village in Soc Trang province, Vietnam, previously lived in constant pain and agony from the thousands of small tumours that had taken over every inch of her body.

She was nearly blind because of the growths which blocked her vision, and in constant pain from the tumours which had robbed her of her mobility.

Her mother said she had been born normal, but when Ly turned a year old, small spots resembling moles began appearing on her back.

The lumps multiplied and grew in size as Ly grew older, and soon, she had to rely on her 63-year-old mother to assist her in all her daily activities.

Ly's surgery is the third consecutive operation that Dr McKinnon has performed in Vietnam.

On January 5 at HCMC-based hospital, a 60-member surgical team led by Dr McKinnon successfully removed 82kg tumour on the right leg of 32-year-old Nguyen Duy Hai.

Read: Vietnamese man with 90kg tumour offered chance at normal life

Hai, who hails from Da Lat central highlands city, had a tumour 1.2 meters in diameter and weighing nearly 90kg on his leg.

It was so big, it literally substituted for his leg.

The tumour began when he was four years old, when his right leg stared showing abnormal signs of growing much faster than his left. At 17, the tumour had grown to weigh 25kg.

He then had an amputation at the knee, but the tumour began growing again. Hai faced many problems stemming from his tumour, including a 5cm-long crack that refused to heal, brought on by what doctors described as the "tumour stretching".

Hai is now recovering well and now can eat and breathe by himself, the doctors said.

Dr McKinnon and his wife left Vietnam for the US on January 8.


The information in this article was contributed by Tuoi Tre News. For more information, visit the website http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/.