HealthWatch: Nerve Reconstruction Gives Chris Confidence Again

Health Watch

HOUSTON, Tx. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— Imagine a dentist giving you a shot to numb pain before dental surgery. Normally, that feeling wears off after a couple of hours. But what if it didn’t? That is the feeling one man had to deal with after a tumor took away his ability to feel.

Music plays a big part in Chris and Trust Stovah’s lives.

“I like music. That’s where we met in the first place in a local church,” Chris Stovah told Ivanhoe.

But the music stopped when a fast-growing benign tumor on Chris’ jaw made it hard for him to sing.

Chris Stovah stated, “The teeth of that region, I couldn’t use to eat. It comes with severe pain.”

The tumor even made Chris limit his time outside the house.

“He can’t go to places without anybody asking him, ‘What’s going on with you here? What happened to you here,’” Trust Stovah, Chris’ wife, shared.

Surgeons removed the tumor from Chris’s jaw, but to do so, they also had to remove a nerve which meant Chris would lose sensation in a portion of his face and have difficulty eating or smiling. But thankfully, Dr. James Melville had a solution to make sure that didn’t happen.

“What we call a micro vascular free flap, we brought that up and then connect, did the micro-vascular in the neck and then repaired his nerve at the same time. So that surgery is pretty extensive,” James Melville, DDS, FACS, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the University of Texas Health Science Center, noted.

During a 12-hour surgery Dr. Melville removed the tumor and rebuilt Chris’s jaw. Then he reconstructed Chris’s alveolar nerve using Avance nerve graft to restore sensation to Chris’s jaw and mouth. Now…

“I can do whatever I want to do,” Chris Stovah exclaimed.

And have the confidence to go wherever he wants to go.

Recovery from the surgery is typically around 12 months. Chris got complete sensation back in his mouth and jaw in about nine months.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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