Seven-month-old born with facial cleft flies from Pakistan to Dubai to get treatment
The baby underwent a two-hour-long procedure where the surgeon repaired the facial cleft (macrosomia) to correct the birth defect
Dubai: A seven-month-old Pakistani baby girl born with facial cleft and macrosomia has undergone a two-hour-long surgery to correct the birth defect. Her parents flew to Dubai from Pakistan just for the treatment, a testament to the quality and efficiency of the healthcare system in the UAE.
Baby Alyssa Leanne Brydone was born with a facial cleft and defect in lips with openings on both sides. “Her mouth was wider compared to the normal. Feeding the baby was difficult. As she had a wider mouth, the food used to leak out through the sides,” said her father, Christopher Brydone.
Though the parents took her to various doctors in Pakistan, nobody could offer them a permanent solution. “We consulted various doctors. Some told us that the defect would get corrected with Alyssa growing. While others prescribed some medicines. It was very distressing,” he added.
Seeing no results in the treatment, the parents started looking for options outside Pakistan. “It was then we came across Aster Hospitals in the UAE. We tried to get an appointment for online consultation. What surprised me was the response time. It took less than an hour for a representative to reach us over the phone. We sent Alyssa’s available medical reports. An online consultation with Dr. Rajkumar Ramachandran, specialist plastic surgery at Aster Hospital, Qusais, was fixed,” said Brydone.
The doctor explained the treatment, and the convinced parents decided to travel to Dubai. Baby Alyssa came to Aster Hospital, Qusais, for a check-up on June 9, 2022. Seeing her fit, the doctor performed the procedure the next day. She was kept under observation for a day and was discharged on the second day post the procedure.
According to Dr. Rajkumar, baby Alyssa had wider lips and mouth. “The corners of the mouth and lips must line up with the pupil. In Alyssa’s case, her mouth and lips were wider. Her muscles and bones to the corners of the mouth were not fully developed. So, we performed a procedure to join the macrosomia on both sides covering the extra opening on the corners,” said the doctor.
Post the procedure, the baby responded well to the treatment. Her sutures were removed on June 18.
It is ideal to correct these birth defects at the earliest, said the doctor. “With facial cleft, the child will lack clarity in her speech. So once the child starts speaking it would be difficult for her to change it later. So, it is always better that we do corrective procedures like this before the child is one year old,” added the doctor.
The parents of baby Alyssa are very happy. “We are thankful to Dr. Rajkumar and the support staff at Aster Hospitals. They have been very supportive throughout our treatment journey. Alyssa is also doing good now,” said Brydone.
Baby Alyssa and her family flew back to Pakistan on Tuesday.