Plastic surgery has been used by both women and men across the world to correct unflattering facial and bodily features, as well as to improve medical conditions, such as a deviated septum or Gynecomastia. Throughout the years, we have heard of the many ways in which plastic surgery can improve an individual’s life and increase their self-esteem, seemingly working miracles. But the truth is, plastic surgery really can work miracles. Especially for one young Pakistani girl who was the victim of a brutal terrorist attack.
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head during a Taliban attack in October after protesting for women’s rights to education. After undergoing surgery to remove the bullet , she was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (QEHB), where she currently remains. However, her journey to recovery has not been easy.
Months after the shooting, Yousafzai continued to suffer from cranial damage. She was placed on a ventilator just days after the gunshot wound injury, and many wondered if she would make it. However, the strong teenage has surpassed all odds and is getting better every day.
When she was shot, the bullet struck just above the back of Yousafzai’s left eye, “grazing” her brain, and went down the side of her jaw, damaging her skull. The bullet then traversed through her neck and lodged in the tissue above her left shoulder blade.
The bullet was removed by doctors in Pakistan, but the extent of her injuries required specialized teams that were not available in her home country, so she was transferred to QEHB in the United Kingdom.
Now, nearly six months after the shooting injury, Yousafzai is showing great progress in her recovery, thanks to plastic surgery and a special cranial reconstructive plastic surgery procedure that corrected the damage done to her skull.
With the help of a medical team comprised of neurosurgeons, trauma specialists, therapists, and other doctors, Yousafzai underwent a five-hour cranial reconstruction and cochlear implantation surgery in February.
A custom-made titanium plate was used to repair damage to her skull and the cochlear implant will help her recover hearing in her left ear, which she lost following the gunshot wound. Although it may take up to 18 months for Yousafzai to recover hearing in her ear, her doctors are confident her hearing levels will return to almost normal by that time, thanks to the surgery.
Reconstructive plastic surgery can completely change the life of a victim, like Yousafzai, who has suffered an injury, as well as those who have struggled with debilitating illnesses and birth defects.
Richard Lee Norris, another gunshot wound victim, received an extensive face transplant last year and is recovering exceptionally well. The 37-year-old lost most of his upper and lower jaws, his lips and nose after being shot in 1997. Now, Norris has regained sensation in his face, is able to smile and is regaining his speech.
Plastic surgery also helped an 11-year-old girl after being attacked by a pit bull during a family gathering last month. The girl sustained extensive facial injuries but underwent emergency facial reconstructive plastic surgery that will save her from growing up with any scars from the animal bite wound.
There are many different types of procedures patients can undergo to help restore functionality and appearance to an injured or disfigured area. Treatments can target areas such as the skin, tissue, bones and other organs, giving patients the ability to have a new chance and a fresh start at life.
Here in New York, Dr. Leonard Grossman has performed several reconstructive treatments for patients, helping individuals who are suffering from medical complications, debilitating injuries and other incidents that have caused trauma to the body or face. If you have considered undergoing plastic surgery to treat any deformity or injury wound or scar, contact New York plastic surgeon Dr. Leonard Grossman today to schedule a consultation and determine your best options.