WSVN -- Since Sam Tessenholtz was a child, he's battled nose bleeds, headaches and most recently the 13-year-old was having trouble breathing through his nose.
Sam Tessenholtz: "I couldn't really breathe out of my left nostril."
Steven Tessenholtz: "It was just closed. He would always say 'There's no air.' He would be trying to blow and nothing would happen."
At first, his parents thought it was simply sinus troubles or allergies, but they would soon get shocking news. Even though you couldn't see it from looking at Sam, a huge tumor was growing inside his sinus cavity.
Steven Tessenholtz: "The sinus cavity is about the size of a silver dollar. This thing was about the size of four silver dollars."
The tumor was not cancerous, but it was so big it was beginning to press on sam's eye and was inching toward his brain.
Sam Tessenholtz: "When I saw it I didn't think it would be that big."
Doctors feared the tumor would only continue to grow.
Dr. Ramzi Younis: "If it's left it can really grow and extend into the brain or in the eye."
Even worse surgery to remove these types of tumors can often leave patients scarred for life.
Dr. Ramzi Younis: "The traditional approach involved extensive cutting breaking bone or even removing bone."
Steven Tessenholtz: "We were prepared for him to come out of the surgery disfigured."
Pediatric doctor Ramzi Younis at the UM Miller School of Medicine is performing a breakthrough surgical procedure removing head and neck tumors using this scope.
Dr. Ramzi Younis: "You have no cuts. You're not breaking any bone."
Using the scope, the doctor can go through the nose, cut out the tumor and then remove it through the nose.
Dr. Ramzi Younis: "This is a major breakthrough."
Sam's surgery took about eight hours. An agonizing wait for the teenager's family.
Steven Tessenholtz: "After the surgery the doctor came out. He said 'Steve this thing was huge but I got it man. I got it all."
There's no trace of the tumor and no trace of surgery on Sam's young face.
Steven Tessenholtz: "He looks perfect."
Sam Tessenholtz: "I can breathe a lot better."
Now, Sam's packing his bags for summer camp and he'll have a lot less worry to carry long.
Diana Diaz: " The type of tumor that Sam had was pretty rare. Dr. Younis says he sees about three cases a year."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Ramzi YounisChief Pediatric Otolaryngology900 NW 17th StreetMiami FL 33136305-243-3564