Coung is a man in his late 20s who was involved in a motorcycle accident. As you may know, in Vietnam, motorcycle or mopeds are the preferred modes of transportation because they are inexpensive. Unfortunately, most people in Vietnam ride motorcycles without helmets. The person was riding his moped without his helmet when he was struck by another moped. He landed face first into the sidewalk and crushed his nose. His entire nasal bridge and septum were crushed. The complete nasal collapse caused him the following problems:
He could not breathe through his nose at all, the nose bled often, and he became very depressed as a consequence of having no nasal bridge whatsoever.
We took him to the operating room and we reconstructed his nose by harvesting a rib. With this rib, we were able to completely reconstruct his nasal bridge and sidewalls. We also placed these grafts inside the nose to help expand his airway, thereby allowing him to breathe again.
Hien is an 11-year-old boy who had an upper-lip deformity, from a bicycle accident when he was young. Although it was not a cleft lip, the scar made it appear as if he had one. For this reason, he was always made fun of. In addition, he also had a nasal deformity from the same accident. The right side of his nose, called the ala was somewhat elevated. We performed a lip scar revision, using similar techniques that are used for cleft lip repair. We aligned the vermilion borders of the lip again to give the lip continuity and we also corrected the retraction of his nasal ala with a small cartilage graft that we took from his right ear. We look forward to seeing him next year and observing how he has recovered from the surgery.
Ahn is a young 19-year-old woman who was first treated by the mission the previous year . She had a dysplastic congenital nevus that affected the right upper eyelid and the right lower eyelid . She comes from a poor family and ever since she was growing up she always had this dark nevus growing around her right eye. In her teenage years, she was ridiculed and called names by many of her school colleagues because of the nevus. As she became an adult, the nevus became more and more of a problem for her because it started to affect her eyesight to the point that she could barely see; the tumor had made her eyelid very heavy and lids would shut and stay closed.
We saw her last year and removed large parts of the nevus. However, because the eye has a very delicate structure, we could not take all of the nevus during the first surgery, so we removed a large portion of it. This year, when we returned to Vietnam, we were able to take approximately 90 percent of the nevus leaving her with only a very small part remaining. Thus, she can now see out of the eye because the eye is open and she feels a lot more comfortable with herself. She still has one more procedure to go that we will do next year.