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Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 647418, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Multicenter Study of Buruli Ulcer Disabilities in the Head and Neck Region

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University Post Office, KNUST, Kumasi, GH, Ghana

Received 9 November 2010; Revised 25 January 2011; Accepted 22 February 2011

Academic Editor: James E. Zins

Copyright © 2011 Pius Agbenorku. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To identify disabilities caused by Buruli Ulcer Disease (BUD) when it affects the Head and Neck Region (HNR) of patients in endemic areas and suggest possible ways to overcome the complications involved. Methods. Data for the study was collected from six different hospitals in the central part of Ghana from 2004–2009. Diagnosis of BUD was based on clinical findings and confirmed by positive result of Ziehl-Neelson Test for Acid Fast Bacilli, Polymerase Chain Reaction, or Histopathology. Treatment of BUD involved a combination of surgical interventions and antimycobacterial chemotherapy for 8 weeks. Results. The age of the 38 patients ranged from 0–56 years (mean age of 14.3 years), with males outnumbering females. Most (55.3%, 𝑁 = 2 1 ) of the patients reported to the facilities with developed BUD deformities. Patients who lost their eyeball ( 𝑁 = 5 ) recorded the highest in terms of functional disability. A mean total hospital stay of 52 days and follow-up period of 2.3 years were recorded for the study. Conclusion. Visual impairment was the commonest form of disability recorded in the HNR. Management difficulties and BUD disabilities could be avoided by early detection of the disease and training of health professionals at district levels.