FTW’s second specialist Maxillofacial and Orthodontic mission has been a resounding success. The collaborative approach of the missions is designed to complement the international Fellowship programs in the UK and Canada so that a true craniofacial service can be established in Vietnam.
The October Hanoi mission was focussed for patients with particularly complex conditions, requiring specialist expertise.
The target was the delivery and teaching of orthognathic surgery in patients with severe facial deformity. The UK and Vietnamese teams worked together, at Hong Ngoc Hospital and Viet-Duc University Hospital, providing both single jaw and bimaxillary (two-jaw) surgery to correct severe malposition of the jaws and complex facial asymmetry.
Surgery was also undertaken to reconstruct an orbit (eye socket) following severe facial trauma; the upper part of the face was accessed using a bicoronal incision (ear to ear across the top of the head), and bone was taken from the patient’s skull and used to support the eye at the correct vertical level, significantly improving the patient’s vision and facial symmetry.
A severe nasal defect was corrected by the surgical translation of the nasal ridge to the centre of the patient’s face using an open-tip approach.
Other conditions treated during the week were:
- cleft lip and palate related pathology
- traumatic injuries to the face
- torticollis (twisted neck)
In addition to the surgeries, a comprehensive lecture programme was delivered at Hong Ngoc Hospital each evening, attended by approximately 300 surgeons and orthodontists from many eminent hospitals in the Hanoi area. Lectures were delivered on orthodontic surgical planning, surgically-assisted rapid expansion, and facial assessment for correction of deformity.
The UK and Vietnamese teams worked together intensively to implement the collaborative approach to care already established in the UK. Teams comprising both UK and Vietnamese consultants carried out all operations. The positive feedback received from both hospitals, the teams of doctors, and of course the patients was that the mission was a resounding success all round.