Recently a young girl was saved from losing her face thanks to a surgery involving facial liposculpture and a liposuction chin. The surgery was an amazing success against a problem that is thankfully a very rare occurrence.
Christine Honeycutt appeared to be perfectly normal until an indentation appeared on her forehead. Her mother knew it was a sign of some deeper trouble but had no concrete, tangible evidence, especially when doctors kept assuring the family that the child was fine. It took an unexplained seizure for the medical community to stop and take notice, and even then they came to all the wrong conclusions, blaming a mild fever for the episode.
One side of Honeycutt’s face continued to age and grows while the other side remained stagnant, and the difference between the two sides of her face grew more and more pronounced. The child began rapidly gaining weight and one side of her forehead developed a strange, meaty texture. Finally, the family went to see a geneticist who was able to examine the genes and give a definitive diagnosis: Parry-Romberg Syndrome, an auto-immune disease that one in a million people develop. The body essentially turns on and destroys half of the face, leaving that half a skeleton. In addition, the disease also leads to neurological complications.
Doctors refused to do reconstructive surgery until the underlying facial destruction was stopped, at which time even Honeycutt’s bone structure would have likely been affected and permanently altered. The child’s mother found a doctor willing to work on her case, John Siebert, MD.
The doctor likened her 8 hour surgery to building a teddy bear. The fur and skin are there, he just needed to add the stuffing. And the ‘stuffing’ used during the facial liposuction surgery was from Honeycutt’s own body, complete with functioning blood vessels. The flesh was taken from under her arm. The doctor opted for the girl to provide her own flesh to reduce the risk of rejection, especially in her overly immune-sensitive body. This new flesh will not atrophy, and the blood vessels will allow her new ‘stuffing’ to live and grow with her. It looks like her facial ordeal is over with.
Christine Honeycutt now looks like any other child. Her face is full and plump and her eyes are lit up with life and happiness from within. It is truly a beautiful ending for both her and her family.