Man promises to ‘be good’ after nose restored by surgeon

The man's nose appears to have been intentionally severed as part of a crime dispute; doctors say nose seems to have been bitten off.

April 11, 2011 02:27
2 minute read.
Rambam doctors restore man's severed nose

Rambam Drs 311. (photo credit: Piotr Flitr)


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A man in his 30s whose nose was intentionally severed – apparently as part of an organized-crime dispute – has had it restored, and after the experience now promises to “be good.”

The rare case of intentional disfigurement occurred about two months ago in the north, where Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center first treated infections on his face and then carried out the plastic surgery procedure with considerable success.

Doctors said his nose appeared to have been bitten.

Rambam reported on Sunday that the surgery required the partial detachment and then removal of a flap of skin from his forehead that was used to reattach the nose.

According to the man’s doctors, major nose surgery is sometimes carried out to restore the appearance of people who suffered malignant tumors, burns or congenital defects, but restoring a nose that was deliberately chopped or bitten off – a common practice of punishment in Europe in the 15th century – is almost unheard of. The Mafia-like dispute has apparently being going on for a few years.

The victim was in Rambam for several weeks for treatment and plastic surgery, and he has been home recovering for a few weeks. Checkups have shown that the operation produced an aesthetic appearance that, said the young man, “makes me look almost as I did before the incident.”

The man, identified only as B., also had fractures around his face, and was in great pain and his consciousness was fuzzy when he arrived in the emergency room. He said he had been ambushed by criminals he knew.

“They had been looking for me for some time,” he said a few days ago. “This kind of attack is called Red Riding Hood.”

The nose was restored under local rather than general anesthesia, which reduced the surgical time from two and a half hours to just an hour. In the first stage, plastic surgeons dislodged most of the flap from the forehead near the eyebrows and then pulled it towards the nasal region to cover what was missing. In a few weeks, the damaged blood vessels still attached to the forehead area grew back into the nose and were detached so they could supply blood to the nose. Further plastic surgery may be needed to finish the aesthetic work, said Dr. Yitzhak Ramon, a senior Rambam plastic surgeon.

Ramon said the forehead flap technique is usually used to repair the face of those who have tumors there that had to be removed or a burn or accident, which are also rare. “B. will look normal with only a tiny scar on his forehead,” the surgeon added.

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