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Over 10 years ago Jeff was diagnosed with base of tongue cancer. He went through radiation and chemotherapy and 3 years later he was cancer free. Unfortunately due to the radiation treatment he developed Osteoradionecrosis in his right jaw. Basically he was dealing with necrosis (death) of his lower right jaw. He was struggling with being able to swallow, trismus (inability to open the mouth), throat spasms, voice problems, facial and tongue numbness, coughing and drainage and sleep issues. In addition to that he was in constant pain.
After research and consultation with experts it was decided that the only thing that could be done to alleviate some of these issues was surgery. This took place on Friday, December 15th at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. Jeff had all but four teeth on his lower jaw removed, 3/4 of his entire lower jaw removed and replaced with sections of his femur that was held in place with a titanium support that was 3 D designed to mimic the facial structure, Also artery and skin from his leg (a "flap")was removed and grafted beneath his tongue to cover the transplanted bone in the lower jaw. The surgery took about 10 1/2 hours. While he was recovering, a few months later it was discovered that the sutures did not hold exposing the titanium plate to the environment, The surgical area also became infected with e coli and the screws holding the titanium support loosened necessitating the titanium being surgically removed through the side of his face and an extensive dose of strong intravenous antibiotics was used for over a month to eliminate the infection. He also needs to be on maintenance antibiotics for life to control the potential for further infection
It will be a long recovery for Jeff and he will treating at MD Anderson as well as KU Medical center for an extended period of time
Updates will be made to this site as we get word from his doctors. Please keep Jeff in your prayers for a successful surgery.