Leg bone turns into new jaw for 18-year-old boy at Tiberias Hospital

Doctors reconstructed the missing part of the upper jaw and connected blood vessels from his leg to those in his neck.

An 18-year-old’s upper jaw was reconstructed using a bone and blood vessels from his leg, after the jaw was destroyed by a severe infection.

The life of Alkish Nijad from Bukata changed drastically as a result of the destruction by infection of his jaw. After five years of suffering, surgery and various treatments, he arrived at Poriya Hospital’s oral and maxillofacial surgery department, headed by Dr. Imad Abu El-Naaj. There, a specialist in plastic surgery and microsurgery, Dr. Amin Abu Jabel, decided to perform the complex operation, reconstructing the missing part of the upper jaw and connecting the blood vessels from his leg to those in his neck.
For 12 hours, a multi-disciplinary team of about 30 medical staffers examined the young man.

“During this operation, we took the bone marrow with the blood vessels and turned it into the shape of the jaw,” Abu El-Naaj explained. “Then we performed a complex reconstruction and under a microscope connected the bone and blood vessels that feed it.”

The doctor added that the case was very unusual. Now the patient will undergo rehabilitation and have a normal, completely different quality of life. Two weeks after the surgery, Nijad said that he felt much better, and the doctors announced that he could be discharged. “I’m glad the surgery was successful,” the boy said. “I’ve been through hard years with a lot of pain, I’m glad it’s all over.”

Abu El-Naaj said that Poriya has established a regional center in this field, providing an answer to all the modern problems requiring head and neck reconstructive surgery.