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Thursday, May 01, 2008

14-Hour Surgery Removes 16 Pound Facial Tumor From Girl

(Fifteen-year-old Lai Thi Dao of Vietnam has lived with a huge growth on her face for 10 years, which was just successfully removed)

It took surgeons from the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, 14 hours to remove a 16 pound facial tumor from a young Vietnamese girls face.
The tumor started out as a cyst on Lai Thi Dao's tongue when she was only 3 years old by the time she reached 15, the tumor had slowly consumed the lower half of her face and accounted for roughly one-third of her body weight.

At three, the surgery would have been minor, but she had no access to the kind of medical care that was needed to have the cyst removed.

By the time she was 15, she could not eat, drink, talk or sleep properly because of the massive facial tumor.

It is called a Schwannoma tumor and according to the doctors from the hospital it was one of the largest ever reported and probably won't return.

The surgeons did not only have to remove the Schwannoma tumor, they also had to realigning her jaw and reconstruct the bone and soft tissues that have been distorted by the massive growth.

Dr. Jesus Gomez and Dr. Robert Marx of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center issued a formal statement saying, "We're happy to report that yesterday's surgery to remove the extremely large tumor from Lai's face was successful, as we were able to remove the entire tumor", the statement continued on to say, "Lai responded very well to surgery, and the outcome is better than expected. We are very optimistic and look forward to sharing more news on her progress as she recovers."

The price tag of the medical care is estimated to be $107,000. While The Holtz's Children's Hospital at Jackson Memorial Medical Center offered to perform the surgery at a charitable rate, The International Kids Fund — the program that arranged for Dao's procedure — is still looking for generous donors to cover the cost.

This surgery just gave a little 15 year old girl, her life back. She will be able to eat, drink, swallow and sleep properly again.

Here is the press release from The International Kid's Fund.