The tumor was an ameloblastoma, a neoplasm of odontogenic origin (referring to teeth formation) that expands the mandible (jaw) from the inside out (see the CT of another patient with a similiar problem-our patient could never afford a CT). Some studies suggest that this tumor is more common in West African males.
In our patient's case, the hollowed out mandible became infected and developed a sinus to the skin (see the lowest portion of the chin). Every time he coughed or sneezed, pus would gush out of the sinus. It was a terrible way to live.
|Intraoperative photo after removal of the right mandible|
We resected the tumor, which required removing half of his mandible, and did a pectoralis major muscle flap to help with reconstruction and closure. He is still doing well, without recurrence, as of July, 2011.