Stranger Things Star Gaten Matarazzo Says Surgery for Rare Bone Disorder Was a ‘Compete Success’
"It may be the last one I need," said the 17-year-old, who has cleidocranial dysplasia, which affects the growth of his bones and teeth
Gaten Matarazzo is on the mend.
On Friday, shortly after undergoing a fourth surgery for his cleidocranial dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of his bones and teeth, the 17-year-old Stranger Things star shared that the procedure, which took hours, had gone well.
“Though my expression in this picture may not show it, the surgery was a complete success,” he wrote alongside a hospital photo, while flashing the camera a thumbs up sign — a nod to the pose he struck before the procedure. “This was such A big one, it may be the last one I need. Hopefully at least.”
The young actor went on to explain a bit more about the disorder and what the latest surgery entailed.
“Those who suffer from Cleidocranial Dysplasia usually have Supernumerary teeth, which are extra teeth that grow in the gums. I’ve had several surgeries to extract these teeth from within my gums and help expose the teeth that should have already grown in considering my age,” he wrote. “In this surgery, the team of amazing medical professionals extracted 14 supernumerary teeth and exposed six of my adult teeth. I was under for four hours.”
“My recovery for the past few days has been great and I can’t thank the team that did the surgery enough. Thank you all for your kind wishes and prayers. It means a lot,” he added, before encouraging anyone who wanted to know more information about the condition to visit the website for the non-profit organization CCD Smiles.
A rep for the actor previously told PEOPLE that Matarazzo was doing “well” following the surgery.
Matarazzo previously told PEOPLE that while he has “a very mild case,” living with CCD can be “very difficult” — especially when it comes to casting.
“It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been getting roles, because of my lisp, and the teeth situation, and my height,” he said during a 2018 appearance on The Doctors.
Matarazzo also explained that the disorder was why his character “was missing teeth in the first season” of Stranger Things.
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Since landing the role of Dustin on the hit Netflix show in 2015, Matarazzo has used his platform to bring more attention to CCD.
“The feedback has been great,” he said. “A lot of people were messaging me saying, ‘You made me feel better about myself, that you can show that you have this condition on TV and embrace it.’ I feel like I’m raising awareness for it. It makes me feel good.”