A NEW SMILE: Little Girl Born with Frontonasal Dysplasia is Smiling After Surgery


This little girl is so precious. She shows just how important every life is.

A girl who had her face reshaped, thanks in part to 3-D printing, is now smiling and laughing again nearly six months after her operation, her family told ABC News.

Violet Pietrok, 2, has spent the past few months laughing and dancing with her twin sister and older siblings according to her mom, even as she recovers from major surgery to reshape her face.

“She’s fantastic. She’s taking it all in stride,” Violet’s mother, Alicia Taylor, told ABC News. “She’s so happy … all the time. If she’s not smiling, she’s generally asleep or throwing a fit.”

Violet underwent a major surgery in October at Boston Children’s Hospital with both a plastic surgeon and neurosurgeon to help reshape her face after she was born with a rare condition called frontonasal dysplasia.

In Violet’s case, the condition resulted in a widening of certain facial features, including the nose and space between the eyes and a large central cleft in her face.

Just 100 cases of frontonasal dysplasia have been documented, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Because of the unique way her skull was formed by the condition, Dr. John Meara, the plastic surgeon-in-chief at Boston Children’s Hospital, used a 3-D printer to create models of Violet’s skull over time. Meara and his team knew they wanted to operate, but they had to be careful in how they approached the surgery so as to not interfere with her brain or other nerves.

“The value of the model like this is huge,” Meara said in a video for Boston Children’s Hospital. “This gives me the ability to see on this model better than I will in the operating room.”

The operation was lengthy, going over six hours as Meara, along with a neurosurgeon and other members of the medical team, tended to the girl. The doctors even brought in the 3-D models to the operating room and when they ran into a complication, used the models to find a solution.

Read more: ABC News

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