Patients with black fungus deformities can approach plastic surgeons: PGI doc

Patients with black fungus deformities can approach plastic surgeons: PGI doc

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Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27

A large number of patients had to undergo surgeries for mucormycosis – commonly known as black fungus – and a majority of them were left with deformities. Now, plastic surgeons at the PGI will be busy for the next six months, reconstructing the lost part/parts of patients who suffered from the fungal infection.

Dr Sunil Gaba, a leading plastic surgeon from the PGI, Chandigarh, said, “(Mucormycosis) patients usually have maxilla defects (mid-face bone), palatal defects, eyeball defects, etc.”

“It’s a fulminant disease, so patients may have very severe defects involving all these structures. Most of the patients require some kind of reconstruction,” said Dr Gaba.

“We can use free tissue transfer from other parts of the body, especially legs, to reconstruct these facial defects,” he said, adding “we can reconstruct the bony component using leg bone,” said Dr Gaba.

“In these types of surgeries, we take required tissue from other parts of the body, along with its blood vessel, and using micro surgical technique, put these tissues on the required areas. These surgeries usually take 6-10 hours, depending upon how much to reconstruct,” informed Dr Gaba.

“Earlier, we used to have a few patients of mucormycosis or severe fungal infection which required reconstruction. But Covid-19 has increased such type of cases manifold… it will be a big task and will require expertise to reconstruct these defects to help patients live near normal life,” he said.

“We have been handling such type of cases for a long time and the latest technology, like the 3D printing, has really improved the outcome of these reconstruction remarkably. With these 3D models, we can plan surgery in a better way and assess our results,” Dr Gaba added.

A minimum of six-week disease-free period is required for reconstruction surgeries, but preferably three-six months after recovery is ideal for conducting plastic surgery on mucormycosis patients, he said.

The surgeon also said during the waiting period, when the patient is disease free and waiting for reconstruction, no medication is advised.

The Plastic Surgery Department of the PGI will operate upon such patients after they complete three-month post-recovery period, said Dr Gaba.

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