Doctors at Baruch Padeh-Poriya Medical Center south of Tveria in late October performed surgery to remove and reconstruct the tongue of an 89-year-old woman. The surgery removed a malignant tumor from the tongue.
The multidisciplinary staff of the medical center included Prof. Abu al-Na’jj, director of the Department of Oral, Maxillofacial and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dr. Bar-Meir, plastic surgery specialist and plastic surgery director; and Dr. Abdel Razek, Director of the Microsurgery Service. They performed the complex surgery successfully.
Dr. Abdel Razek noted, “To date, we have not operated on seniors in complex surgeries of this type due to the complexity of the surgery and the risk to the patient. This is the first time we have decided to operate on a patient at such an old age since in her case the option of oncology alone would not have provided a satisfactory answer. The surgery was necessary to allow the patient to continue to function, swallow, eat and talk.”
Gita Sela underwent a very complex operation that lasted about 8 hours, Prof. Abu al-Najj explained. “There was an oncology challenge combined with Gita’s advanced age. Such surgery is considered challenging even in the major centers in the world. It was a malignant tumor on the tongue about 5 cm large. We performed an excision of the tongue and dissection of the neck – the removal of the lymph nodes from the neck and reconstruction of the tongue with a micro-vascular suspension from the thigh.”
Dr. Bar-Meir added, “Such an operation requires a multidisciplinary team that can perform both the resection of the tumor and the reconstruction during the same operation.”
After three weeks of recovery, Gita feels fine: “Since the operation, I have not been in pain anymore,” she said. “I’m glad I did the surgery because now I can talk, and eat on my own.”
Prof. al-Najj concluded: “This is a very complex operation which, to our delight, has been very successful. We are very pleased with the recovery.”