Experts launch team effort to help patient Alex

The fifth episode of The Face Doctors on Really, shown at 9pm on Wednesday (12 June) tells the story of a patient who became a prisoner in his own home after his entire nose was lost to cancer.


Alex needs the skills and considerable experience of consultant oral & maxillofacial, head and neck surgeon, Mr Malcolm Cameron, to secure an artificial nose created by expert maxillofacial prosthetist, Mr Adrian Kearns.

Adrian is the head of the maxillofacial prosthetic service and laboratory at Addenbrooke’s and has over 30 years’ experience in dental and maxillofacial laboratories in units all over the UK.

Consultant oral, maxillofacial, and facial plastic surgeon, Mr Vijay Santhanam, has a similarly amazing challenge on his hands. Patient Tracey has a large hole in her neck after an infected insect bite turned into a nasty flesh-eating infection.

Like Malcolm, Vijay regularly undertakes some of Addenbrooke’s most challenging cases - and even volunteers overseas to help those disfigured by war and disease. Last year he led a team of colleagues to Jordan to help refugees who fled from Syria and Iran nursing horrific injuries inflicted by bombs, bullets, flying glass and metal.

Meanwhile, registrar Ash Ferro’s needlework skills are also put to the test when footballer James is rushed into the emergency department with deep lacerations in his cheek. Ashley draws on his skills as an academic clinical fellow and specialty registrar in oral and maxillofacial surgery and facial trauma.

Medical director, Dr Ashley Shaw, said: “We are fortunate in this hospital to have really experienced surgeons like Malcolm and Vijay, and rising stars like Ash doing their absolute best to help our patients.

“My message to anyone with an interest in helping people is to get in touch, since hospitals like Addenbrooke’s offer a myriad of career choices both clinical and non-clinical. Everyone here plays an important role.

“In this series the spotlight repeatedly falls on the incredible talents of our maxillofacial prosthetic specialists, which is a very rewarding career path for those with a flair for art, sculpture and an interest in science.”

‘The Face Doctors’ consists of eight weekly episodes that follow the journeys of patients whose lives have been impacted as a result of flesh-eating infections, challenging genetic conditions, and life-changing traumas.

It is not just about fixing broken bodies, but restoring identities, mending confidence, and helping patients and families rebuild their lives. There are touching moments as patients see their new reflections, and as families share their joy.

It has been produced by Dragonfly TV, the same award-winning company that shot six series BBC Two’s ‘Surgeons: At the Edge of Life’, which won wide acclaim and was watched by millions of viewers.

To learn more about surgeons in the series visit ‘The Face Doctors’ pages. For information about working at CUH visit our careers pages.

Image: Mr Malcolm Cameron

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