Paralysed Omani child smiles after five months thanks to surgery
March 8, 2018 | 9:43 AM
by Times News Service
Photo - ONA

Muscat: A child who suffered from paralysed facial muscles, due to an accident, was able to regain control over them after he underwent a micro-surgery in the Sultanate.

The medical team led by Dr. Sheikhan al-Hashmi, a consultant at the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, Burn and Craniofacial surgery, at Khawla Hospital managed to repair damaged facial nerves after a two-and-a-half hour surgery and helped restore the child’s smile.

The facial nerve is the one that controls the movement of muscles on the side of the face. It helps people smile, laugh, cry and even open and close the eyelids among other things, in addition to producing tears and helping in salivation.

The child’s facial nerves were damaged after he was injured by a sharp object at home. The object left a tiny, but deep wound at the base of his skull, behind the right ear. Due to this, half of the child’s face was paralysed. Immediately after the accident the child’s parents notice that his mouth started to sag towards the right and he was unable to blink or move the muscles on the right side of his face, it was then that they rushed him to the hospital.

Post-surgery, the child was monitored closely and after five months of physio-therapy, he was finally able to regain control over his facial muscles.

Dr. Shaikhan Al Hashimi, head of the medical team, explained that the seventh nerve injury is more common in adults than in children, and it requires an early evaluation and treatment at a specialised centre. If left untreated these injuries could cause further damage and the person could lose their ability to speak clearly and could also end up losing their sense of taste. Apart from the physical damage, it could also psychologically affect the person and could further cause anxiety and could eventually lead to depression. In worse cases, these injuries could also lead to a loss of sight, the doctor explained while stressing on the importance of early treatment in such cases. With inputs from ONA

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