Surgeons Create Palate for Baby with Rare Facial Abnormality

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Third surgery performed to implant prosthetics, enable speech

He hasn't been able to speak because he needed the roof of his mouth to form words. Now, our hope is he will start saying all the words his parents have been teaching him, and that he will be able to eat a tasty Thanksgiving meal.

Dr. Sacha Obaid, North Texas plastic and craniofacial surgeon, http://www.northtexasplasticsurgery.com announced the successful operation to rebuild the facial structure of eleven-month-old John Tre "JT" Barbour at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. JT was born with an extremely rare facial condition that he shares with only four other people in the world. The condition involved clefts on both side of his face involving his lips, cheeks, eyelids, cheek bones, eye sockets and eyes. The five-hour surgery involved recreating the roof of JT's mouth, and replacing implants for his eyes.

Dr. Obaid performed JT's third reconstruction surgery to recreate the roof of his mouth, the goal of which is to allow JT to be able to eat normally and begin to speak. During the second part of the operation, Dr. Obaid also changed JT's initial prostheses to continue expanding the bone around JT's eyes and the overlying eyelids. This procedure will ultimately allow for permanent prostheses to be made, making it difficult to detect that JT does not have real eyes.

"This was major surgery for JT, and he is doing amazingly well," says Dr. Obaid, medical director of North Texas Plastic Surgery. "He hasn't been able to speak because he needed the roof of his mouth to form words. Now, our hope is he will start saying all the words his parents have been teaching him, and that he will be able to eat a tasty Thanksgiving meal."

JT has been released from the hospital and will complete his recovery at home, just outside of Waco, Texas, with his mother, Katie Barbour, and father, US army veteran John Laura.

JT was born with a total facial cleft, affecting both sides of his face. The condition is so rare that only four other children in the world have been diagnosed with this abnormality. It's called a Bilateral Tessier #4 Facial Cleft, and J.T.'s cleft is so severe that it extended from his lips up through his jaw, cheeks, and into his eye sockets, causing him to go blind.

About North Texas Plastic Surgery

North Texas Plastic Surgery, http://www.northtexasplasticsurgery.com was founded by Dr. Sacha Obaid, a Harvard Medical School educated, board-certified plastic surgeon, who commits his talents to craniofacial reconstruction for children afflicted with cleft lip and cleft palate, victims of facial trauma, as well as other facial differences.

Dr. Obaid also specializes in mommy makeovers, rhinoplasty, facial rejuvenation, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction.

Contact:
Suzie Robinson, APR
Atria Public Relations
214-577-9329

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Tiffany Irwin
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