Doctors in Florida are planning to remove a 4.5 kilogram tumour from a Cuban teen’s face, which is threatening to fracture the boy’s neck and suffocate him.
Emanuel Zayas and his parents travelled to Miami on a medical visa three weeks ago after doctors in Cuba said they would not risk operating on the 14-year-old, the Miami Herald reported.
The tumour began as a pimple when Emanuel hit puberty but quickly grew over a few months, his father Noel Zayas said.
It is benign but threatens to fracture the boy’s neck and suffocate him. It is also making it difficult for him to eat.
Dr Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, and a team of surgeons will operate on January 12 at Jackson’s Holtz Children’s Hospital.
“It’s life-threatening by its very weight,” Dr Marx told the Miami Herald.
It will take approximately 12 hours to remove the tumour and reconstruct Emmanuel’s nose so he can breathe easily, the Herald reported.
Emanuel will need more surgeries after to reconstruct other facial features.
Dr Marx said Emanuel was born with a rare disorder called polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, which causes his body to develop scar-like tissue instead of bone.
The disorder often causes fractures and deformities of the arms, legs and skull.