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Headed by Smile Foundation medical director Professor George Psaras, the woman and children had facial reanimation surgery in Smile Week as Psaras shared his expertise with other surgeons from academic hospitals.
Psaras has performed 41 facial animations and reanimations during sponsored Smile Weeks, one for a woman from Bloemfontein who developed facial paralysis after severe recurring infections.
A piece of muscle was harvested from the woman’s left thigh and the red muscle was "parachuted" into her cheek, where Psaras and his team connected an artery, vein and nerve to the transplanted muscle.
The operation, performed to the sounds of Classic FM at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital on Tuesday, took about 10 hours. The patient is expected to get some movement back in her face in two to six months.
"We operated on a 10-year-old yesterday and last week on an eight-year-old in Johannesburg and a girl in Cape Town," said Psaras.
The facial reanimation operation involved the intricate replacement of 18 muscles with one muscle. "This is a compromise but it’s the best option we have," he said.
Yesterday was the last day of the Vodacom’s Facial Reanimation Smile Week.
- The Smile Foundation organises free reconstructive surgery for children with facial abnormalities within South Africa.
<a href="http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article997958.ece/Thigh-muscle-gives-woman-a-reason-to-smile-againtag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article997958.ece/Thigh-muscle-gives-woman-a-reason-to-smile-againThu, 31 Mar 2011 22:47:55 GMT 00:00″>Thigh muscle gives woman a reason to smile again