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Ribs, Hip and Wrist Used To Rebuild Mouth After Oral Cancer For Patient

by Tanya Thomas on September 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM
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 Ribs, Hip and Wrist Used To Rebuild Mouth After Oral Cancer For Patient

After mouth cancer ravaged a man's face, it has now been rebuilt to using different parts of his body including ribs, hips and wrists.

Tim Gallego had to undergo 16 operations to have bones, skin and arteries from all over his body implanted into his face.

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The financial advisor from Dorchester, in Dorset had chunks of bone from his rib cage and his hips removed to use it for his new nose and jaw for his new teeth.

Also, arteries from both his legs were built into his neck, while skin from his wrists was grafted onto his lower face.

Finally, Tim has full recovered after eight years of medication.
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In between he was unable to talk for a whole year, nor could eat or drink for two weeks after one of the many operations.

"I seem to be running out of a supply of body parts now. I've always been very positive throughout and always thought that I would get back to normal. It's just that normal has ended up being a bit different for me," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The cancer was first diagnosed when he was 38-years-old and had gone to his doctor with sinus problems.

The cancerous tumor was located behind his nose because of which he had to go through a 21-hour operation.

His face was opened and bone from his nose removed to get to the growth.

After the operation he underwent months of radiotherapy before beginning the process of rebuilding his lower face.

Tim said: "Within a week of being diagnosed, my dog died and Katie found out she was pregnant with Imogen, our first child.

"After the operation I was already looking like a monster and then ended up with a face like a basketball, I was so badly swollen.

"The radiotherapy made me sick as a dog. But I was determined at that stage to be well enough to look after Imogen. I needed to be well enough to drive Katie to hospital.

"Because of the changes in my face now, people I know have seen me and not recognised me.

"People look at me and wonder what has happened but the only people who actually ask me are young children.

"But it was only when I was well enough that I could actually understand how sick I was, if that makes sense."

Tim is originally from Manly in New South Wales, Australia.

Source: ANI
TAN
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