09:04, November 10, 2022
In Toulouse, a patient who had lost her nose after cancer of the nasal cavities benefited from a unique reconstruction: her nose was rebuilt on her forearm, using a biomaterial, before being grafted onto her face. A surgical feat that marks the beginning of a new life for the patient, and bears hope.
It is an extraordinary operation carried out by the Oncopole and the Toulouse University Hospital. A patient who had lost her nose after cancer of the nasal cavities was able to benefit from a unique reconstruction in the world. Doctors reconstructed a nose on his arm before grafting it onto his face.
“There is hope !”
This is called a “nursing”. The doctors first had the structure of the nose printed in a porous biomaterial by the specialist Belgian company Cerhum. For this, they based themselves on scans of the patient before her nasal cavity cancer in 2011. Then Doctor Benjamin Vairel, ENT, and Professor Agnès Dupret-Bories, grafted it into the forearm of the patient, the time to let the skin build up all around.
“It is hooded in skin. This skin is vascularized. We waited two months for the cells to grow in this structure. And in a second step, this architecture could be transferred using an artery and a vein initially from the ‘forearm that we were able to reconnect with an artery and a vein in the face”, explain the doctors.
The image of this nose on Carine’s arm is impressive. But for her, who after 11 years of wandering has found a face, it’s a rebirth. “To see the shape he already had on his arm, it gave me confidence. It was an intense emotion. It’s a total reconstruction because I had isolated myself. For all those who are in the same situation as me, who have reconstruction problems, this is an extraordinary step forward. There is hope!”, she rejoices.
Carine still has to undergo aesthetic operations to refine the upper part of the nose. But for her, the hardest part is over and one month after the operation, she has no signs of rejection yet.