Over the years, medicine and medical professionals have saved countless lives and helped many more have a better life. Ellie Jones from Rhyl, Wales, is one such lucky girl who had the opportunity to change her life forever, thanks to her orthodontist and her surgeon. In a pioneering surgery, she was transformed from shy girl with facial deformity to a beautiful and confident woman, and here is how it happened.
When she was 14 she went to have her braces fixed by an orthodontist. To her surprise she found out that her chin hadn’t grown since she was 8 years old.
When Ellie was young her teeth were quite crooked and she wanted to have them corrected with braces. What, instead, her orthodontist told was that she had a rare congenital facial deformity and that it prevented her jaw from growing properly as she grew up.
According to her surgeon, Emma Woolley at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, more than 100 patients visit the institute for problems related to the jaws. But Ellie’s problem was quite severe and the surgeon performed a pioneering surgery that had changed her life in a significant way.
She underwent two stages of maxillofacial surgery. The first stage was to correct her jaw deformity.
Also known as oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMF or OMFS), the procedure is done for treating many diseases, injuries, deformities and defects of the head, neck, face and jaws as well as the hard and soft tissue present in the mouth and facial areas. What Ellie Jones had undergone was experimental as such deformity is rarely seen.
The surgery involved cutting her jaw horizontally and vertically to transform it into a normal shape.
As can be seen in the x-ray on the left, her chin before the surgery was formed much behind where a normal chin bone is supposed to be. The subtle outlines of her facial features show how her lips are parted and protruded outward while her chin lacked the bone structure. And in the x-ray on her right, her chin is slightly moved forward, which has also changed how her lips are.
She had to spend a month on liquid diet during her recovery and six months later was able to attend her prom looking and feeling better.
A year later, she underwent a second corrective surgery that corrected her chin, which was also deformed.
Ellie always “felt that her chin was too small” and so proceeded to the next stage of surgery. The procedure was optional and only involved correctional surgery for her chin which made a huge difference to how she looked.
The surgery changed Ellie Jones’ life completely. She transformed into a confident young woman from a shy girl that she was six years ago.
The change in her appearance has changed how she felt about herself and subsequently it made her more confident in everything she does. It even showed in her ability to dance, which she could do better after the surgery. She now dreams of becoming a photographer to capture the special moments of other people’s lives and says she feels grateful to her surgeon.