Little Mia from Seychelles had a new lease of life through the surgery done by a Chennai based maxillofacial surgeon, Dr.S.M.Balaji. The little girl had a rare condition known as the Berkwith Weidmann Syndrome. This problem is caused by the abnormal regulation of genes in a particular region of Chromosome 11. She was only an eighteen month old and children with this over-growth syndrome are born with over-sized tongue which is known as macro glossia. She was not able to speak, swallow or breathe like any other normal child. Her mother had problems feeding her. She was mostly on a liquid diet. Her tongue was nearly 5 inches long whereas a child her age usually has a tongue that was just 1 ½ inches long. The tongue was always hanging outside the mouth.
Children with this defect have a problem of low blood sugar as they are not able to eat normally. The child underwent a surgery, trimming the width and length of the tongue Care was taken not to cause loss of function of tongue and keeping the taste buds intact. There are huge blood vessels in the tongue so any damage to them could cause very great problem. After the surgery, the child had started to taste new things first time in her life. She was able to utter a few words after the tongue was trimmed.
The defect is found in one among 15000 children. This surgery gives hope to children with this syndrome. The siblings of children with this syndrome can also be affected by such a condition.