3-year-old has eye socket created from stomach fat

A three-year-old girl has had a new eye socket created from her own stomach fat to prevent her face from becoming deformed in a UK-first operation performed at our hospital.

Myah Hauxwell, from Mansfield, was born with a rare generic condition called Micropthalmia, also known as small eye syndrome. She has undergone more than 10 operations on her face and eye, and was previously using a prosthetic eye. However, she outgrew the prosthetic eye and her mum Lauren raised funds to have a new one created.

Mayah underwent a four hour operation at Queen’s Medical Centre to fit the prosthetic socket using 1mm thick stomach fat on 27 June.

Mr Tambe, Adult and Paediatric Oculoplastic Surgeon at QMC, said:

This phase of Myah’s rehabilitation process involved filling the socket with fat and its overlying dermis. It is obtained from the peri-umbilical area and transplanted into her expanded eye socket. Once the dermis-fat graft has healed, she will then have an artificial (prosthetic) eye made to fit the contour of her socket. This prosthetic eye, made of acrylic material, is made to look like the normal eye in size and colour, but she will not be able to see with it. The advantage of the dermis fat graft is that it is Myah's own body material, and so it is very unlikely to get rejected.

Microppathalmia is a rare condition occurring in 10 – 15 per 100,000 births, Myah who will always be partially blind will require a new eye socket every two years as she continues to grow.

Mr Tambe added: 

The ultimate goal of Myah’s surgery is to rehabilitate her eye so that it looks as similar to her normal eye as is possible. We want Myah to have a normal happy life and assimilate into society without the fear of bullying or teasing.

Myah’s mum Lauren said:

Myah was even smiling before she went down to theatre. She will always be completely blind in her one eye but we're confident that once she has her new shell that her face won't droop down.

Lauren added:

I know they'll be treatments that aren't available on the NHS that she'll need. We've currently raised over £700 but we need around £5,500 to ensure she gets everything she needs.

For more information on how to donate to Myah’s case please click here.