Craniofacial team performs reconstruction surgery on girl attacked by raccoon


Surgeons from Beaumont's Ian Jackson Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Clinic spent eight hours on Wednesday, Aug. 15 reconstructing the nose of a 10-year-old Spring Lake girl attacked by a raccoon.

This is the first of many procedures to reconstruct Charlotte Ponce's nose, ear and lip. Her face was disfigured when she was three months old.

Team leader, Kongkrit Chaiyasate, M.D., told the Grand Rapids Press, "This is probably one of the most difficult cases I've ever done."

Along with Dr. Chaiyasate, surgical team members included Jefrey Fishman, M.D. and Drs. Julie Sofer and Shaher Khan.

The team will use Charlotte's skin, bone and blood vessels to reconstruct her nose. On Wednesday, the surgical team took tissue with a blood supply from her forearm to create a lining for her nose. This involved delicate microsurgery to ensure the repositioned tissue has adequate blood flow - a critical part of the procedure.

In four to six weeks the team will take tissue from her forehead to create the exterior of her nose.

Sharon Ponce, Charlotte's adoptive mother, told the Detroit News, "I want her to feel as beautiful as she is on the inside when she looks in the mirror."

(left to right) Dr. Shaher Khan; Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate;
and Dr. Jefrey Fishman.