Terry Sambrailo lives in Idaho and was diagnosed with cancer in her left jaw last year. It started with a toothache.
“And then another toothache and that’s when we finally did the biopsy and we found out it was more than just the tooth. It was cancer in the bone,” Terry says.
She was referred to a team of specialists and surgeons at Providence Cancer Institute, led by reconstructive surgeons Ashish Patel, M.D., D.D.S., and Baber Khatib, M.D., D.D.S., who performed an innovative new procedure called “Jaw in a Day.”
The procedure for patients with oral cancers offers a faster recovery and better cosmetic results.
“One of the devastating things with oral cancer is that – not only does it require this large removal of the area of the cancer, but it can affect the way patients look, speak, interact with people afterwards, and this is lifelong, what used to be a disfiguring type of surgery,” says Dr. Khatib.
The “Jaw in a Day” procedure can accomplish what used to take about a year in a single day. The patient undergoes a complex procedure that removes the tumor, rebuilds the jaw using the patient’s fibula (calf bone) and implants new teeth within hours.
Providence has used this procedure before on non-cancerous tumors, but now it is available for patients like Terry. She was the first patient on the West Coast to receive it for her cancer treatment. Donor support of Providence Cancer Institute helps bring these innovative treatments and procedures to our patients.
Watch the news reports: