Seven-year-old with muscular dystrophy recovers from innovative face reanimation surgery

A young UK girl living with muscular dystrophy is recovering from a ground-breaking operation which has quite literally brought a smile to her face.

Carla Hughes, Dungannon, Scotland, underwent an innovative face reanimation operation at the Royal Free Hospital in London in May this year.

The ultra-rare surgery was carried out in a bid to restore muscles around her face, which had deteriorated as a result of her muscle-wasting condition.

According to reports, surgeons removed muscles from Carla’s leg and implanted these in her neck – a complex move carried out to restore the youngster’s facial expression.

At the time of surgery, doctors said that they would not know until ten to twelve weeks after the surgery whether it had been successful or not.

But the seven-year-old’s parents, Dessie and Anne, say that they are already seeing positive signs after having recently returned from Carla’s first post-op check-up.

“As a family, we can see big improvements in Carla since the operation,” Dessie said.

“Carla is doing brilliant and is excited that she will have a smile again very soon.

“Myself and Anne are very happy with everything that Carla has gone through and we cannot speak highly enough of the staff at the Royal Free hospital.”

At EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with a range of disabling conditions, including muscular dystrophy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today.