Surgeons complete reconstruction of West Michigan girl's nose

12/3/2012

After five surgeries in four months, little Charlotte Ponce, 10, has a new nose.

"That's the best Christmas present she could ever get," says adoptive mother Sharon Ponce of Spring Lake.

Surgeon Kongkrit Chaiyasate, M.D., from Beaumont's Ian Jackson Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Clinic finished the fifth and final stage of major reconstructive surgery on her nose Friday.

The three-hour procedure was a milestone in reconstructing Charlotte's nose after a raccoon attack left her severely disfigured when she was an infant.

Before the surgery, adoptive father Tim explained, "As soon as it's done, it will be awesome."

During surgery, Dr. Chaiyasate, director of Reconstructive Microsurgery at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, worked on shaping the bridge of her nose. He also transferred some fat from her stomach to her cheek. This will result in a fuller cheek.

"The surgery went well," explains Dr. Chaiyasate. "While her nose and lip (reconstructed in the fourth procedure) are large, she will grow. It's easier to remove, than add tissue."

This marks the last major surgery until the team reconstructs her ear later in 2013.

Charlotte was discharged from Beaumont Children's Hospital on Saturday, nearly 24 hours after her surgery. Before heading home to West Michigan, she and her family attended a holiday party hosted by the Ian Jackson Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Clinic.

Her mom says after being home-schooled since September, she'll go back to school after the holidays.