A baby girl is recovering well from surgery after being born with a “Batman mask” birthmark on her face.
Little seven-month-old Luna Fenner of Florida, USA, flew to Russia for the pioneering medical treatment which is not yet available in the United States, Daily Mail reports.
According to her mom, who travelled with her, she’s doing “super fine” and didn’t even need painkillers.
Luna has congenital melanocytic nevus, a birthmark which usually looks like a huge, dark blemish, often on the face.
“The first operation was successful,” said Andrei Aleksutkin, executive director of the laser and photodynamic clinic in Krasnodar. “We treated part of the [nevus] located on the child's forehead.” It’s still unclear when Luna's next operation is scheduled for.
In an Instagram post to her 127 000 followers, Luna’s mom, Carol, wrote, “I didn't warn you of the first surgery here before, because I knew my phone wouldn’t stop and I couldn’t risk her recovery.
“She's super fine, thank God. No need for pain medicine.”
She started looking for help for her daughter after being told her condition could increase Luna’s risk of skin cancer.
Carol had almost lost hope when doctors in the US said Luna would need to endure up to 100 operations using laser surgery over five years.
After reading about her story in a local newspaper hospital director Dr Pavel Popov offered Luna up to eight surgeries in 18 months in Krasnodar, Russia.
“Luna’s parents were offered . . . 80 surgeries in five years. They were supposed to start when the girl grows up, plus it was planned to carry them (the surgeries) out in different medical institutions in America,” Popov said.
“And for all this you had to pay a crazy amount of money. The doctors deliberately proposed a treatment regime that does not fit into any framework of American insurance medicine.
“They were uncomfortable just saying: ‘We can't operate on your girl, we can't do everything the way you want’.”
His method doesn’t involve “a large-scale bloody surgery” or the “excision of a large amount of tissue”.
“We can do such operations on an outpatient basis, under local anaesthetic and without a drop of blood,” he said.
The doctor, who’s done a similar operation on a Russian girl, says he bonded with Luna straight away when they met for the first time. “As soon as her mother brought her into my consulting room, the girl extended both hands to me, grabbed my thumbs and never let go.”