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Vadodara doctors reconstruct face of man mauled by bear

Photo for representation

Doctors in Vadodara worked hard for four hours to rebuild a 26-year-old man’s face which had been badly disfigured due a bear attack.

This complicated and long surgery took place at the Government’s SSG Hospital in the city and required 300 stitches. While it was done free of cost, the same procedure would have been expensive in a private hospital.

It was on the first of this year that Dharmesh Rathwa, resident of Ambapur village in Pavijetpur taluka of Chhota Udepur, was attacked by a bear. He was returning from his farm in the evening around 7.30 p.m. when the creature attacked him severely injuring his forehead, eyelids, nose and cheeks.

He was rushed to the Pavi Jetpur Community Health Centre and on diagnosing his condition critical, given immediate first aid. Later, he was admitted to SSG Hospital with one-third face completely damaged.

“When he was brought to us, his face was covered with seeds, dust, leaves and stones. We had to first stabilise him, provide rabies, tetanus and antibiotic shots, conduct a CT scan before operating upon him to reconstruct the face,” Dr Shailesh Kumar Soni, Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery and Associate Professor at SSG Hospital told TOI.

Dr. Soni along with his team conducted the four-hour-long surgery assisted by a group of anaesthetists.

Sharing details about the surgery Dr. Soni said: “We recovered some portions from the crushed part. For the rest, we used titanium plates and mesh to reconstruct the face. Putting together all the parts of the bones was like a puzzle.”

He added that fortunately, there were soft tissues that could be used to put the face together which was functional.

At present, Rathwa is recovering and is on a liquid diet. Able to move his eyes, he has no problem breathing.