This redefined facial filler.
Italian surgeons had to reconstruct a man’s face using his leg bone after removing a massive 3-pound tumor on his jaw that was impeding his quality of life.
“It is a demanding and complex operation,” lead surgeon Alessandro Baj said of the face-saving procedure, which transpired at the Galeazzi-Sant’Ambrogio hospital in Milan.
The 38-year-old man, identified only as Angelo, reportedly had a benign growth so big that it inhibited his eating and breathing.
Pics show the colossal protuberance, which completely envelops his face.
While the tumor had been diagnosed two decades ago, medics only decided to remove it recently, when it ballooned to an unmanageable size.
Unfortunately, due to the protrusion’s countenance-encompassing size, surgeons were forced to extract part of his jaw with the tumor.
In order to make him whole again, they needed to reconstruct Angelo’s mandible via maxillofacial surgery — a type of operation to fix deformities and restore function in the lower face.
First surgeons created a digital rough draft by replicating both the man’s jawbone and the tumor using CT scans and a 3-D printer.
They then carved a slice of bone from the fibula in his leg and shaped it to re-create the exact curvature of his jaw, per the specifications of the replica.
This was then transplanted into Angelo’s face, effectively filling the visage void.
This jigsaw-esque facial reconstruction was particularly complicated “given the considerable size of the mass,” according to Baj.
However, he noted that it “presents a low possibility of complications, especially in young patients, as was the case here.”
Doctors will need to monitor Angelo’s recovery for any side effects from the surgery.
If cleared, surgeons will perform follow-up ops to replace missing teeth and rebuild his mouth muscles, while cosmetic surgeons will remove the residual tissue from the tumor.
This isn’t the first time surgeons have carried out this skeletal switcheroo.
Last year, chop docs performed the same fibula-based facial reconstruction on a 9-year-old Brooklyn boy who had an egg-size tumor on his face.