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Success! Rhophence from Kenya raised $1,500 to remove a mandibular mass.

Rhophence
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Rhophence's treatment was fully funded on September 7, 2021.

Photo of Rhophence post-operation

October 8, 2021

Rhophence underwent surgery to remove a mandibular mass.

Rhophence was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplacia, which was causing her teeth to loosen in the affected area. She was scheduled to undergo a complex surgery and as she was resource-constrained, she requested financial support from Watsi. With Watsi support, Rhophence was able to undergo the procedures she needed—all of her surgeries combined took more than ten hours. All went as planned and her doctors excitedly deemed the treatment successful. This surgery will relieve her constant pain, allow her to speak and eat regularly again and enable her to return to work to support her family.

Rhophence says, “I am happy I got the surgery and hopefully will be able to talk well and have a normal life.”

Rhophence was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplacia, which was causing her teeth to loosen in the affected area. She was scheduled to ...

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August 16, 2021

Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner’s Care Center Kijabe Hospital.

Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended.

She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative.

Rhophence shared, “This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”

Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was dia...

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Rhophence's Timeline

  • August 16, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Rhophence was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • August 16, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Rhophence's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 17, 2021
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Rhophence received treatment at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • September 7, 2021
    FULLY FUNDED

    Rhophence's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 8, 2021
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Rhophence's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Treatment
Mass Excision; Open Reduction Internal Fixation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $2,016 for Rhophence's treatment
Subsidies fund $516 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$1,545
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$65
Supplies
$225
Labs
$72
Other
$109
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

The common symptoms of an ORIF include: extreme pain; inability and/or difficulty in using legs. Mass symptoms vary depending on the type of tumor. Not all tumors - cancerous or benign - show symptoms. A common benign tumor, such as a lipoma (fatty tumor), may cause local pressure and pain, or may be disfiguring and socially stigmatizing. This is mass excision followed by an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. It is indicative for conditions such as ameloblastoma- a rare, benign tumor of odontogenic epithelium commonly appearing in the lower jaw. An ORIF corrects a severe, poorly aligned fracture where the ends of affected bones are far apart. Such a fracture may occur anywhere in the body (leg, hip, arm, jaw, etc.), usually as a result of trauma. Broadly, masses come in two types: benign (not cancer) and malignant (cancer). The types of tumors are many and could range from osteosarcoma of the jaw (a bone tumor) to thyroid enlargement to breast lump to fibroma (benign fat tumor), among others.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Without an ORIF, a non-union leads to chronic disability, pain, and inability to work. If the tumor is cancerous, it is usually aggressive and invasive. If not treated (like certain skin cancers, for example) there could be great tissue destruction, pain, deformity, and ultimately death.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Because there are so many different kinds of masses, it is difficult to pinpoint certain cultural and/or regional causes.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient will generally stay in the hospital for 2-3 weeks after surgery, and return for a checkup in 6 weeks.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Curative. An ORIF fixes the broken bone restoring it to complete function and thus, enables the patient to be able to work. In the case of cancer, the procedure can be life-saving. In the case of benign tumors, patients can be free of pain or social stigma.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

In an ORIF, there is medium surgical risk. Overall, the risk of surgery is less than the risks of the alternative (traction), or doing nothing. In addition to the scenarios above, fractures may occur in older people with osteoporosis or because of cancer or infections like TB. In mass excision, if the tumor is cancerous, the surgeon will only try to remove it if the procedure would be curative. If the cancer has already spread, then surgery cannot help. Most of these surgeries are not very risky.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There are few quality orthopedic centres in developing countries. Any American would go to their local hospital and get an ORIF. There are few qualified facilities and surgeons to perform this procedure in Africa.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Traction is an alternative for some—but not all—cases. And traction requires a patient to be in the hospital, immobile, for months—leading not only to lost wages but risk of bedsores, blood clots, and hospital-acquired infections. It depends on the type of tumor. If the tumor is cancerous, chemotherapy may help, but that treatment is even less available than surgery. If the tumor is benign, it depends on the condition - but just watching the mass over time would be one option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.