TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) Doctors in Miami say they will remove a 10-pound tumor from a teen's nose next month.
While it is not cancerous, the mass threatens to break the 14-year-old's neck and suffocate him, the Miami Herald reported.
What began as a pimple of the left side of Emanuel Zayas' nose two years ago quickly grew to the size of a basketball, the newspaper reported.
Since the tumor presses down on Zayas' trachea, he's undernourished because it's hard for him to eat and swallow, Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, said during a news conference with Zayas' family on Friday.
"It's life-threatening by its very weight. If nothing is done it will cause a fracture of his neck," Marx explained. So, a team of surgeons will remove the tumor on Jan. 12 at Jackson's Holtz Children's Hospital.
Marx said he first heard of Emanuel's case at a medical conference where a group of missionaries presented X-rays and photos of the boy.
"Nobody knew what it was," he said. But Marx did, because he has operated on patients with large facial tumors in the past.
In an operation that is expected to take 12 hours, four surgeons will extract the tumor while preserving blood flow, tying vessels and then reconstructing Emanuel's nose. The surgical team must remove the entire tumor to guard against its return, Marx noted.
But Zayas will need more surgeries to reconstruct his cheek, jaw and other facial features, and to implant prosthetic teeth, the team explained.