Baby with ‘Tessier’s facial cleft’ gets full face reconstruction in Bangalore thanks to crowdfunding

Baby from Ballari district in Karnataka underwent three complex operations in Bangalore thanks to crowdfunding

Baby from Ballari district in Karnataka underwent three complex operations in Bangalore thanks to crowdfunding

Hailing from Ballari district, little Huligemma was born with a birth defect in her facial structure, Tessier’s facial cleft, involving the upper half of the face, right eye, upper lip and palate. She required complex craniofacial reconstructive surgery to restore her facial appearance and good speech. With a poor economic background, the family could not bear the cost of treatment.

Thanks to crowdfunding through two non-profit partners – Impact Guru Foundation and Impact Guru Inc., the baby underwent three complex surgeries at Aster CMI Hospital in Bengaluru and is now living a normal life.

Tessier’s facial cleft is a set of related conditions that cause clefts or defects in the soft tissues and bones of the face that are more severe or follow different patterns from the common form of cleft lip and palate. Usually, babies born with this condition require corrective surgeries for healthy growth, development, and appearance.

A team of physicians from the hospital comprising Chetan Ginigeri, Senior Consultant – Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care, Sathish MS Vasishta, Consultant – Craniomaxillofacial Surgery and V Arun and Gaurang J Kothari, Consultants – Anesthesia and Critical Care, among other surgeons performed the corrective surgeries.

Speaking about the case of baby Huligemma, Dr Ginigeri said she had a face with a slit extending into the palate, lip, right side of the nose to the right side of the eye.

“She needed a complex reconstructive procedure to reconstruct her facial deformities and give her a very good functional and aesthetic result in terms of nasal cleft bypass. We were able to perform reconstructive surgery by erasing her deformity. Now, she is recovering quickly, is able to feed herself well without spilling food and milk from her nose, is able to speak and is undergoing speech rehabilitation, she will gain weight and develop normally,” he said.

Dr. Vasishta said the baby needed another procedure for the final palate correction.

Christine E. Phillips