Doctors to fit titanium plate over hole in Malala's skull

The titanium plate Credit: Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is to have a titanium plate fitted over the missing part of her skull, doctors at a Birmingham hospital announced today.

The 15-year-old activist for girls' education was shot at point blank range by a Taliban gunman last October and sustained damage to the left side of her head.

She will also have a small electronic device fitted to help restore hearing to her left ear.

Both surgical procedures will be carried out within the next 10 days and will take about 90 minutes each, doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital said.

This animation shows where the bullet entered Malala's head and explains the procedures:

Speaking to reporters at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr Dave Rosser, described Malala as a "remarkable young woman" and said that her fast recovery was testament to her strength.

He also said she is "not naive at all" about her high profile around the world or the fact that she remains a target for some.

Malala is receiving treatment as an out-patient after doctors decided she would benefit from living with her family in Birmingham.

Both of the procedures are fairly routine and doctors expect Malala to make a full recovery, although she is unlikely to hear normally for 15-18 months.

Dr Rosser said the damaged part of her skull had been "stored" in her abdomen since her initial treatment in case it was needed, and that Malala made the decision to opt for the titanium plate instead.

This illustration shows where the bullet entered and exited Malala's head Credit: Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The titanium plate that is less than a millimetre thick and has been moulded to fit the hole in Malala's skull perfectly.

In this video, prosthetist Stefan Edmondson describes how he made the plate:

Dr Rosser said this could be "her last surgery" and once over, she could finally be able to concentrate fully on her rehabilitation.

He added that she should be out of hospital within "two to three days" of surgery.

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