What began as a growth that seemed to be a pimple just two years ago has turned into a 10-pound tumor on a 14-year-old boy’s nose. Emanuel Zayas, who was born in Cuba, has a rare disorder that causes his body to create scar-like tissue rather than bone. Four surgeons and their team intend to remove the mass from the boy’s face next month at Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami.
The tumor, which is not cancerous, is still deadly. Due to its enormous size and weight, it threatens to fracture the boy’s neck. The basketball-sized mass also presses into his trachea, making it very difficult for him to eat and swallow. As a result, he is undernourished.
— UHealth Jackson Children’s Care (@ExpertKidsCare) December 22, 2017
— UHealth Jackson Children’s Care (@ExpertKidsCare) December 21, 2017
Doctors must remove the entire tumor to ensure that it will not grow back in the future. But another challenge, in addition to the 12-hour surgery, will be the fact that the boy will need future surgeries “to reconstruct his cheek, jaw and other facial features, and to implant prosthetic teeth,” according to WebMD.
Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, said that he first learned of this case “at a medical conference where a group of missionaries presented X-rays and photos of the boy.” “Nobody knew what it was,” he said. But Marx did, however, because he has experience doing surgeries on large tumors. The effort to save Zayas’s life will take place on January 12, 2018.