Children’s surgeries are considered to be a particularly complicated realm of surgery. But some innovative surgeons have made truly amazing advances.

Fox news reports on an amazing surgery performed on a four-year-old boy.

The surgery was extremely difficult but saved his life.

The little boy had his throat rebuilt using part of his own rib by doctors at a hospital on Wednesday. The youngster’s name is Emmett. He suffered severe injuries after he consumed a button battery from a remote control on his first birthday. How big was it? The quarter-sized battery became lodged in his throat. It had been burning a hole in his esophagus, which left him unable to breathe, eat or speak by himself.

One of the physicians from the boy’s medical team issued a statement saying, “This will be a major step in helping little Emmett be a normal boy. If all goes well, the trach tube will be removed within the next year.  He wants to play soccer, so we think he'll be able to do that and play other sports if he wants, which is important for his childhood development.”

The surgical team is hoping this will be the last major surgery for Emmett, who utilizes a tracheostomy to help him breathe. The little boy regained the ability to consume food through his mouth again after undergoing a surgery two years ago in which the hospital’s doctors utilized part of his colon to fix the hole in his esophagus.

The little boy’s mother, Karla, told Fox, “He's undergone extensive swallow therapy to learn how to eat. He is a champ now. The esophagus surgery changed his and our lives. The airway surgery will be preparing him to go to mainstream school next year – kindergarten. He will start voice therapy where he will learn to adapt to his newly repaired vocal cords. It will also give him a safe and secure airway.”

Doctors say now, the rib-graft procedure will be utilized to again give function to the vocal cords to create an airway passage. The hospital’s surgeons said that Emmett will still have to face numerous life-long issues as a consequence of his injury since his rebuilt throat will not function as effectively as a normal esophagus. But this is certainly a step in the right direction towards trying to live a more normal life.

Fox reports on another miraculous surgery performed on a young boy. A twelve-year-old boy recently had a 3D vertebra implanted into his spine.

The young boy is suffering from cancer. The surgery lasted around five hours. The team removed a tumor from his spine and replaced it with the 3D vertebra.

Fox explains, “Qin was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma after he suffered a neck injury while heading a ball in sports practice. Ewing’s sarcoma is a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones (soft tissue)—often the legs, pelvis, ribs, arms or spine, according to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.”

What was the instrument created from?

The innovative device was made from titanium powder and included many miniscule pores, which will allow the bone to grow and bond to the structure as it heals. Right now, the standard procedure for this type of surgery includes removing the bone and inserting a titanium tube held in place by screws and surgical cement. But, the tube can become detached over time, which obviously creates a huge problem.

So how did surgeons overcome this issue?

For this novel procedure, surgeons utilized an amalgamation of scans and specialized engineering software to form a perfect replica of the part of the patient’s spine that needed to be replaced because of the cancer.

Dr. Zhongjun, who performed the surgery, said,

“We can use iconographic tests on patients such as a computed [tomography], or CT scans, and convert the CT data into 3D-printing data in order to produce an internal fixation with exactly the same structure as the patient's bone structure. When it is implanted into a human being, it perfectly matches the patient's own anatomical structure. Using existing technology, the patient's head needs to be framed with pins after surgery. But with 3D-printing technology, we can simulate the shape of the vertebra, which is much stronger and more convenient than traditional methods.”

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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