John’s tumour removal and titanium (TMJ) replacement
I had had synovial chondromatosis for about seven years and it was becoming increasingly painful. I had a lump on the side of my face at my jaw joint that was about the size of a half golf ball. Apart from being unsightly it was stopping me from chewing on that side and opening my mouth had become increasingly painful over the course of the last six to nine months.
Mr Cascarini was recommended to me by a consultant who initially looked at my problem. He recommended removal of the tumour and replacement of my temporomandibular joint (the hinge between the jaw and the skull) on that side with a titanium joint.
I was hopeful of being able to eat without pain but expected to have a sizeable scar on the side of my face and was prepared for some nerve damage that might affect that side of my face.
Once the joint had been modelled and manufactured in the USA, which took a couple of months, the operation took place.
The first couple of days after the operation were very good, no doubt because of the anaesthetic still working. I spent only two nights after the operation in hospital then came home. There were aches and pains following that, but these were alleviated to a great extent by the pills I was given. The side of my face was initially VERY swollen, and I had some quite magnificent bruises, but this soon reduced. The side of my face was numb for a couple of months.
Three months on and I’m feeling very, very good. Just an occasional twitch of pain from the nerves in my face but the frequency is diminishing and the numbness in my cheek is almost gone. I think that in another month it will be back to normal feelings. There is no lump anymore, I can eat normally and very surprisingly no duelling scar across my cheek!
I didn’t really have any choice but to have the operation as I couldn’t continue as it was. It sounded pretty dramatic when it was explained to me what was to be done and was rather more than I expected (I thought the tumour would just be removed) but in fact it has turned out very well. I wouldn’t hesitate to commend Mr Cascarini for the way he did this and the operation has been a real success. Others, if concerned, needn’t be if my experience is anything to go by.