Doctors remove 5-pound-tumor that had ‘eaten away’ child’s jaw

Posted at 8:45 AM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 08:51:50-05

SHREVEPORT, La. — Doctors in Louisiana successfully removed a rare, massive tumor from the face of a three-year-old Brazilian girl.

When Dr. Celso Palmieri first saw Melyssa Braga’s story on the news, he said he felt called to help the child.

“I spent one hour searching social media, I was able to get in touch with the family and a month after that they were here in Shreveport ready for surgery,” Dr. Palmieri told KSLA.

Doctors called Braga’s tumor very rare for a girl her age. The tumors, they said, are typically benign, but extremely aggressive.

“You can see this tumor had pretty much eaten away her entire jaw from one side to the other, had displaced her tongue to the point to where she was unable to eat, pretty much on the way to being very malnourished child,” Dr. G.E. Ghali said. “It was almost like another head that was attached to her jaw.”

After nearly 10 hours in the operating room, the doctors deemed the surgery a success.

“This tumor weighed over 5 pounds,” Dr. Ghali said.

Melyssa will undergo several more surgeries before the age of 10 before the process is complete.