Marlie will come back to Miami in two years for additional surgeries on her nose and jaw and to receive dental implants, said Dr. Jesus Gomez, the University of Miami medical school maxillofacial surgeon who has led Marlie's surgical teams.
Doctors are waiting two years to continue the reconstruction to give her
skull time to stop growing.The mass that threatened her
life has not shown any sign of regrowth, Gomez
said Tuesday at a hospital news conference.
"If everything continues in the same way, in the same fashion, we're going to be able to finalize the reconstruction of the face in the next two years," Gomez
rejected a copy of the board game "Operation."She
underwent four surgeries this year at Holtz Children's Hospital
in Miami to remove the growth, recenter her
eyes and define her
nose.In October, surgeons replaced a previously implanted titanium plate in her
jaw to tighten her
mouth and give her
back the ability to swallow and attempt to speak.A feeding tube into her
stomach was scheduled to come out Thursday.
A synthetic skeleton made of hard polymer implanted under Marlie's eyes looks like normal cheekbone under her
skin.A thin, pale scar outlines her
flattened nose, and her
lips close in the shape of a diamond.Marlie
suffers from a rare form of polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a nonhereditary genetic disease that causes bone to swell and become jelly-like.The condition affects her
entire skeleton: she
is bowlegged and short for her
age, and her
fingers and feet are swollen and crooked.