(Shutterstock/Illustrative) (Shutterstock/Illustrative)

The soldier suffered multiple facial fractures during a shootout with a Hamas terror cell near Jenin.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

When a person suffers severe injuries to one side of the face, doctors typically use 3-D imaging of the healthy side as guide for repairing the damage. But what if both sides of the face are injured?

That was the situation doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center faced on Sunday, the Times of Israel reported.

According to the Times, a 34-year-old soldier who can only be identified as “Captain Dalet” had a gunshot wound in the jaw and more in the lower abdomen.

Dalet, the Times reported, had been involved in a raid on the Palestinian village of Burqin, near Jenin, on September 26.

That was the evening the IDF busted a Hamas terror cell in Judea and Samaria that was planning a spree of murders and kidnappings. The IDF said five terror suspects were killed in shootouts that night while seven more were arrested. The IDF seized a number of guns and large amounts of ammunition.

The bullet to Dalet’s head left him with multiple facial fractures.

“In most cases, we do imaging of the healthy side and use those images to plan and repair the injured side,” Prof. Adi Rachmiel, director of Rambam’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, told the Times. “However, in this case, both sides were injured,”

Instead, the Rambam staff created computerized 3D models of Dalet’s jaw to assist them in getting ready for surgery. “We used a new method that resulted in a fast and safe operation and very good results,” Rachmiel said. “His face will get back close to normal, with the exception of some scars on his skin.”

Dalet was fortunate that the bullet didn’t strike a vital area. But Rachmiel said one fracture was perilously close to an eye socket.

“Once the facial bones are involved, the airways also become involved, and in this case the bullet hit very close to the brain, eyes, and tongue,” said Rachmiel. “It was clear to us that due to the nature of Captain Dalet’s facial injuries, we would have to do a full anatomical reconstruction of the bones.”

After Sunday’s operation, Dalet’s grateful father, Yossi, told the Times that he had been “stressed,” but “the result of the surgery was more than perfect. We thank all the medical staff.”

The Times added that Dalet’s jaw appears headed towards a full recovery.