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Royal London consultant prepares for surgery on tumour girl

PUBLISHED: 16:25 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:01 05 October 2010

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THE Royal London consultant treating a teenage girl who has endured a five-year battle with a growing facial tumour has spoken of the life-threatening surgery awaiting her. Nomatter Taremedzwa Mapungwana, 18, known as Tare, who struggles to breathe an

THE Royal London consultant treating a teenage girl who has endured a five-year battle with a growing facial tumour has spoken of the "life-threatening" surgery awaiting her.

Nomatter Taremedzwa Mapungwana, 18, known as Tare, who struggles to breathe and eat because of the benign tumour which is growing around her mouth, has travelled thousands of miles for an emergency operation by a Royal London consultant.

Ian Hutchison, one of the country's leading facial reconstruction surgeons, offered to perform the surgery for free after hearing about Tare through his own charity Saving Faces which is dedicated to reducing of facial injuries and diseases.

Tare is currently being treated at the hospital in Whitechapel before she is moved to St Bartholomew's for her operation tomorrow.

Professor Hutchison, who has worked as a consultant for Barts and the London Trust for around 20 years, says he will reduce the "bulk" of the tumour which is on her left upper jaw as if he removed it completely, it would risk her whole face being damaged.

He said: "Cemento-ossifying fibroma which is what Tare has is not a common condition.

"She is a sweet girl who was very sick when she came over as she had lost a lot of blood. She was in a wheelchair so was lucky to survive the flight.

"A facial tumour doesn't normally behave as aggressive as this and the operation could be life-threatening.

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