Mobile phone held between teeth exploded, Delhi docs reconstruct his mouth
The accident left the man, who does not want to be named, incapable of eating or speaking clearly. “The blast had torn apart the muscles inside his mouth and had damaged the tongue.Updated: Feb 15, 2020 15:21 IST
Delhi doctors reconstructed the disfigured lips, cheeks and tongue of a 26-year-old Yemeni man who had been left with what doctors call an ‘O-shaped mouth’, after a mobile phone burst in his mouth a year ago. He was holding a basic cellphone between his teeth while working when it exploded.
The accident left the man, who does not want to be named, incapable of eating or speaking clearly. “The blast had torn apart the muscles inside his mouth and had damaged the tongue. He was not able to eat any solid food and was living on soft food that he could just swallow. He had slurred speech as the tongue could not move properly. The muscles of the lips had split and the contractures (tightening of the skin after burn injuries) had left his lips sticking to his teeth,” said Dr Ajaya Kashyap, who did the surgery a week ago
He had received first-aid in when he got injured in November 2018 and came to India for reconstructive surgery. “Apart from the problems in chewing and speaking, he was also concerned about his appearance. He wanted to get married but could not find a partner because of the disfigured mouth,” said Dr Kashyap, medical director, KAS Medical Centre in Vasant Vihar.
The doctors used flaps of tissues from the cheek to reconstruct the inside of the oral cavity as well as the lip corners. The lips were filled with fat tissues from the stomach to give a normal appearance. They used grafts for facial hair that he lost from burn injuries.
“I was unable to eat and speak. I was a hopeless man. All I wanted was to get back my normal features. For me, the surgery has changed everything. Now I can get settled in my life, without feeling insecure about my looks,” the 26-year-old said, who is ready to go home.
“I have never heard of such an injury due to mobile phone blast,” said Kashyap. This type of severe oral disfigurement happens mostly in cases of failed suicide by guns abroad and cracker injury in India.
“People must be made aware this can happen. Cell phones may burst and it must not be kept inside the mouth. It is not common to see such oral cavity disfigurement, but cases do come from time to time. I remember a case where someone had put a cracker in the mouth of a person who had passed out on Diwali, resulting in a similar injury,” said Dr Samik Bhattacharya, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.