Medical Minute 3-18: Saving Sam from a Tumor

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

For 14-year-old Sam Tessenholtz, the shortest distance from the driveway to the hoop is a quick jump shot. His aim isn't always on target, but he's grateful his surgeon's was.

Last April, Doctor Ramzi Younis discovered a large tumor against Sam's eye socket, pressing on his brain.

"They said it was like a mini tennis ball in my, I don't know what it's called, my nasal cavity or something. Yeah, I didn't want to imagine it," said Sam Tessenholtz.

Instead of cutting directly into Sam's face, Doctor Younis performed an innovative procedure going in through the nose -- using a new embolizing material called onyx to cut off the tumor's blood supply.

"We identify the tumor with our scope, go and inject, so instead of going through the main supplying vessel, we go through the tumor, and it goes all over." Ramzi Younis, M.D., Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Miller School of Medicine.

Surgeons were able to remove the large tumor through the nose without a single external incision. To Sam's dad, it was nothing short of incredible.

"The amazing part is they were able to not disfigure him and take the tennis ball out of his head," said Steve Tessenholtz.

"The good news is it's out, and I'm normal, and I can breathe," said Sam.

He shoots… he scores. Thanks to successful surgery, this teenager is now back in the game.

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500,

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