New York (July 2002) -- Sergey Zvezdin, a teenager who was severely injured during the terrorist bombing of a city bus in Haifa, Israel, was given a new lease on life after surgery at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary to remove a metal fragment lodged in an almost inoperable position.
The young man and his mother were brought to America for treatment after coming to the attention of Daniel Igor Branovan, M.D., director of otolaryngology resident education at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Last December Sergey was on his way to getting a haircut when a bomber blew himself up, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens of others. Then 16 and a promising athlete, Sergey suffered a concussion and punctured eardrum and was hit by shrapnel that included a metal bolt.
The bolt passed within a millimeter of several large vessels and nerves, and lodged itself deep in the tissues of the face, close to the brain. Unfortunately, Israeli surgeons had decided the bolt was in a position too risky to remove and the trapped shard remained a persistent source of headaches and psychological trauma.
Using image guided CT scanning technology available at only at the most specialized medical centers, Dr. Branovan and colleague Anthony Sclafani, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in the department of otolaryngology, undertook the several-hour operation. Starting with a small incision at the top of the head, just behind the hairline, and guided by computer, doctors worked behind the major facial bones to find the fragment and successfully remove it. They also repaired other injuries such as the damaged eardrum.
With no more than a small bandage to show for all the complexity of the surgery, a smiling young man and his thrilled mother were discharged from The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary within days. In addition to the technology that made such a recovery possible, Dr. Branovan said, "We hope Sergey's visit and surgery may be seen as a reflection of the generosity of the people of New York City toward victims of terrorist bombings."
If you are a reporter seeking to interview this or any other doctor at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, please contact Jean Thomas, at (212) 979-4274, or Axel F. Bang, at (914) 234-5433.