Mexico.- Since 2016, specialists in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the Medical Unit of High Specialty (UMAE) Specialty Hospital of the National Medical Center La Raza, use a microsurgical technique to place flaps and rebuild major defects in the head and neck area.
Such is the case of Guillermo Martínez, 36 years old, public transport driver, who performed a routine mechanical check, accidentally hit his nose and that generated a tumor in the maxilla, which as he grew up affected his nostril , part of the eye and jaw.
Two years ago, he had a complete resection of the tumor with the entire dental arch, as it was under the skin and all over the bone. The reconstruction of a microsurgical bone flap, taken from the fibula, was then required so that the face defect could be filled, a plaque inserted and then the patient decides to place dental implants.
«For my family I made the decision to take care of myself already, I knew it was a complicated thing, but the doctors gave me the confidence and I put myself in their hands. Here in Social Security they did change my life completely because I was afraid to go out on the street and people would see me; now that I came to this hospital, my life changed totally, today I can go out into society, see me as a normal person, my appearance changed completely,» said Guillermo Martínez.
Using state-of-the-art technology such as a surgical microscope and an almost invisible suture to the human eye, images through the portable Doppler system and infrared cameras to closely monitor the life of the flaps after implanting them, it has been possible approximately 50 to 100 patients benefit each year.
Dr. Alejandro Cruz Segura, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, said that microvascular flaps of skin, muscle and bone have become the first treatment option in major defects of the face and neck; and with the microsurgical technique it contributes to successful survival of them.
He explained that this technique involves autotransplantation from a distant site of the patient’s body to another affected area, where vessels, arteries and nerves about one millimeter in diameter meet; with this, the flap continues to receive blood and does not die.
He commented that head and neck defects represent challenging reconstructive problems, given their relationship to important anatomical structures involved in functions such as vision, speech, chewing and swallowing.
Seeing the results in these patients generates great personal satisfaction but above all to see an improvement in their quality of life, they return to their daily activities, said Dr. Alejandro Cruz Segura.
He pointed out that the doors of the Specialty Hospital are open, if they have any defects here we can reconstruct them with the most sophisticated techniques and with close surveillance. Thanks to the patients who place trust and their lives in our hands in order to improve their quality of life.
In 2016, the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service of the Specialty Hospital of the National Medical Center La Raza, performed between 70 and 80 procedures a year with a survival rate and success of 95 percent.