New Delhi: A 30-year-old woman from Nagaland, who suffered from a facial deformity since birth for which she could not open her mouth properly, underwent a 12-hour-long correction surgery at a city hospital recently.

Awan Konyak faced difficulty in opening her mouth since birth. She could not chew food and could not take care of her teeth as her mouth did not open. This disorder is medically termed ‘Ankylosis of TM (Temporomandibular) Joints’.

She approached doctors at BLK Hospital in New Delhi. She had undergone several surgeries at various hospitals but was still unable to open her mouth.

“We evaluated the complexity and criticality of the case. After investigation, it was found that the patient was suffering from a combined problem of facial deformity and severe obstructive sleep apnea.

We decided to rectify the problem with Joint replacement and orthognathic surgical procedures,” Dr Anil Murarka, a senior consultant at BLK Centre for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery said.

She was finally planned for Bilateral TM Joint replacement and orthognathic surgery (jaw correction surgery).

These two advanced procedures are generally performed as two different stages. But the doctors decided to undertake these procedures simultaneously.

“The procedure was planned manually (using cephalometric analysis) and through virtual means to quantify the degree of correction needed in both jaws. Her dental models were prepared, and a mock surgery was done on models to prepare the guide for the surgery,” Dr Murarka said.

She was operated for bilateral TM Joint replacement and orthognathic surgeries (upper jaw osteotomy and chin advancement surgery with bone grafting) on November 25.

The surgery took over 12 hours, doctors said.

The patient recovered very well and was discharged from the hospital after three days. She can now open her mouth and eat with ease.

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