109-year-old Haifa man gets ‘new’ nose after cancer surgery

Skillful plastic surgeons at Rambam Medical Center fashion nose from skin on patients forehead.

New Nose 311 (photo credit: Rambam Medical Center)
New Nose 311
(photo credit: Rambam Medical Center)
Haifa resident Meir Korner has proven with his nose that it’s never too late to have surgery.
The 109-year-old, who developed skin cancer on half of his nose, has had a new one fashioned from the skin on his forehead by skillful plastic surgeons at Rambam Medical Center.
Although Korner has followed most of the guidelines for good health, including sleeping enough, exercising, having a good sense of humor and holding “frequent conversations with God,” he did expose himself in his nearly record lifetime to too much sun.
He noticed the skin problem a few months ago and underwent an operation to remove the malignant skin tumor in early May.
Rambam surgeons have much experience using a skin flap from another part of a patient’s body to cover gaps due to surgery. The Haifa medical center is the only one in Israel where noses can be reconstructed using only local anesthesia, which shortened the operation and in Korner’s case, significantly reduced the risk.
The hospital said on Tuesday that doctors were pleased with his progress, which they monitored during a checkup. He was fit, standing erect and happy.
The skin flap from the forehead and the attached blood vessels were turned around and moved below to cover the skin on the half of his nose that had been removed with the tumor.
The gap in Korner’s forehead was closed by sewing up what remained, also apparently reducing wrinkles and making him look younger.
Some operations require additional steps to create better results, said Yitzhak Ramon, the senior plastic surgeon who performed the surgery. “We are very satisfied with the results. It was not a simple operation, but it turned out well.”
Ramon said that after only a few days, Korner’s nose looks as it had when it was not cancerous.
Korner, who was born in 1901, said he can’t wait until he can again swim in the Mediterranean.
“I feel good. I give credit to the Rambam doctors and to the fact that I do things I love.
In my conversations with God, He promised me I would have many more years on this earth.
The moment I can go to the beach, I will, but with protection against the sun.”