Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center have successfully operated on a two-month-old baby born with a very rare defect in which his jaws were fused shut. Worldwide, there have been only about 50 such cases.

When the infant from the center of the country, identified only as N., was born about two months ago, his parents discovered that he had a cleft palate and another congenital defect, congenital maxillomandibular fusion, in which his jaws were connected by soft tissues so he was unable to open his mouth completely. It was the first such diagnosis in Israel.

A few days ago, Rambam doctors performed an operation to remove the soft tissue to disconnect his jaws.

Congenital maxillomandibular fusion is associated with a number of genetic syndromes, but due to the few cases reported worldwide, the cause of such congenital malformations is still unknown.

In some cases, the connection between the jaws develops through bone augmentation, and in other cases through the tissue, as in this case. When the baby was born, the side parts of his jaw were attached to one another at the gums, but at the center of his mouth there was a narrow opening that allowed him to drink milk.

In consultation with his parents about the continuation of his treatment, they were referred to Rambam’s department more at JPost