Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another Surgery

Well Hello Everyone!  We are posting because we have had another surgery.  Lauren has been doing so well.  She is an awesome ballerina and is growing so fast.  We had another surgery on October 23 on her ear.  Mostly it was just to do some tweeks.  We really hope that this is the LAST ear surgery.

She will be having another eye surgery in December to help with the ptosis or droopy eyelid that really seems to have gotten worse after her first eye surgery to remove or minimize the cysts.  The doctor says it is because one of the cysts was helping hold her eye open and when the cyst was taken her muscle had not built the strength that the other eye has to hold it up.

Our ear surgery went well.  Dr. Lewin is awesome.  We tell Lauren that she has magic hands and she does.  So for now we will post again after her next surgery and will add some pictures as well.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


It has been quite a while since we last posted.  Lauren has been doing very well and as time has passed, it has been easier to forget about everything she has been through.  In July, we were able to attend the Microtia/Atresia conference in Long Beach, California.  This conference was similar to what we attended 5 years ago.  This conference was critical to our decision making.  It was great to be able to attend and meet with all the doctors again.  Our primary goal was to see Dr. Lewin and also meet with Dr. Hammoudeh.  He is a plastic surgeon that focuses on the jaw.  For the past couple of years since Lauren has had jaw distraction surgery, we have been working with our Orthodontist, Dr. Yamishiro,  at Primary Children's Hospital to help with her bite, widening her upper jaw, and lengthening the lower jaw.

After meeting with Dr. Hammoudeh, we came away very relieved.  We were worried she may need additional distraction surgery for her jaw.  We came prepared with some x-rays and scans that he requested. After reviewing them, he felt that she would not require any surgery at this time.  He wanted to speak with Dr. Yamishiro and work out a plan for her in the next few years.  He feels we can still do more with orthodontics to aid her in straightening our her jaw.   He does feel she will need braces soon and she may have to wear braces for up to 5 years.   It was wonderful to see two doctors work together to come up with a plan for Lauren and to do what is best for her.

We were also glad to meet with Dr. Lewin.  We haven't seen her in a while.  She says that Lauren's ear is doing very well, but we thought she may need a revision.  Dr. Lewin agreed. The small triangular part of the ear that covers the ear canal has drifted slightly.  The tragus as it is called looks like it needs to be repositioned and her ear may need to be rotated.  She feels the revision surgery would be about 3 hours. We will now have to decide when we would like to have this surgery done as well as make sure our insurance will cover it.  It is not a pressing need right now, but we may try to do it sooner than later.

As Lauren has gotten older she has become more aware of her ear and is sometimes self-conscious. However, I think that is just because of her getting older and closer to becoming a teenager.  No one ever really notices her ear
and all her friends are very supportive of her.

The rest of the conference was great. We met some great families and some very cute kids.  I wasn't expecting it, but it was much more emotional for us than I thought it would be.  I think just being there, thinking back 5 years ago from the time we were first there brought back a lot of memories.  It seems like so long ago, but we are grateful to have been there and we feel we made the right decisions. If anyone out there has questions about this blog, Lauren, or her journey, please let us know.

The photo above is Lauren, her sister Kara, and Derrick Coleman.  Derrick is an NFL football player for the Seattle Seahawks. He has been deaf since the age of 3.  Dr. Lewin invited him to come to the conference and meet the kids. He signed autographs, took photos, and played with the children.  He is a great role model and is an amazing person.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

So Lauren just completed her ninth surgery on April 3, 2012. It was her first eye surgery where the doctor (dr. patel) removed or reduced the two dermoid cysts she has had on her left eye since birth. The cysts have not caused any vision problems, however they were starting to irritate her eye due to some fine hairs that were growing out of them. Yes, that is right, hairs. We were told when she was born that the tissue on these cysts vary and that they could be tissue from different areas. They did tell us that this might happen, and at her last eye appointment it was noted. She has done great, she told us that her left ear now has a friend because her left eye has had surgery now. It is very swollen and red and the doctor says it can take up to a month for the redness to go away. Hopefully we are done, or done at least for a while. Thanks for everyone's love and support.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Photos

New photos were added to the slideshow.

Wow, has it almost been 2 years?



It has almost been 2 years since my last entry. I have been meaning to update the blog with new photos of Lauren and how she has been progressing but she has been doing so well, it made it easy to forget what she has been through the past couple of years. Today, Lauren had another surgery on her ear. This surgery was to help rotate the ear slightly and provide some added touch up. She also was able to get her ears pierced. She was very excited and wanted this badly. The surgery was in Beverly Hills with Dr. Lewin. The surgery lasted about 4 hours and she did very well. Laure was very concerned going into the surgery today. She was very scared. Now that she is older she is starting to understand more what is going on and is fearful it may hurt. She was also very concerned about going back to school with bandages because she thought the other kids would laugh at her.

I reminded her of the experience we had with her a couple years ago after her Medpor reconstruction. We were in a couple days after her surgery. A small girl about her age was leaving the restaurant with her family and she was holding a balloon. A few seconds after they left the restaurant, the girl ran back in and gave her balloon to Lauren. She must of saw Lauren's bandages and wanted to give it to her to make her feel better. We know she doesn't have to worry what other people may think when they see her.

Her recovery should be fairly quick. She is currently off-track from school and won't be going back for another two weeks. She will be bandaged for about one week and we can then remove everything. She is currently a little sore, but tonight she is back to her energetic self. Dr. Lewin feels we can come home as early as tomorrow.

I will include some new photos of her from the past couple of years. Later this year she may have surgery to her left eye to remove a small cyst. It is not affecting her vision, but it is something that may cause irritation as she gets older. After that, there is not anything more planned for her except the orthodontic work that we are having done at Primary Children's Hospital to help lengthen her jaw on the left side. We appreciate everyone's support and prayers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We are so glad to be home. The surgery was a success. Lauren had a lot of scar tissue and the doctor was able to remove it. All of the other minor tweeks the doctor wanted to do were also done. Dr. Lewin said that kids just like to produce lots of scar tissue and that it is something we are going to need to watch for carefully. We can not say enough about Dr. Lewin, she is the greatest doctor. Lauren as usual is just amazing. It is incredible to watch how fast she bounces back. She was eating to her full capacity just hours after her surgery. We are biased parents, but she is absolutely an amazing example of patience and compassion to everybody she meets. The staff at the hospital were so complimentary of her. We are glad to be back and are hoping we are done with surgeries for a while. Thanks to family and friends who helped us get through another surgery.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surgery Update- Day 2

Lauren is doing very well today. She was a bit grumpy for a few hours after surgery, which seems to always happen each time she starts coming out of the anesthesia. But once it wears off she is back to being her cheerful self. Her next appointment is on Monday and hopefully she will be cleared to return home. If not, they may need to stay a couple more days. In the meantime, the hardest thing for them is finding things to do. Strange thing to say since Disneyland is so close.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Surgery Update

Lauren came out of surgery around noon. She was in for about 5 hours. It took a little longer than expected but she is just waking up now in recovery. Once she can show she can take in fluids, she will be released to go back to the hotel. She has some bandaging and will be wearing the protective ear cup again for a few days.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lauren arrives in California

Becky and Lauren flew into California today and they were able to meet with Dr. Lewin for the pre-op visit. Dr. Lewin was very pleased with what she saw with her ear. She pulled a large scab out of her canal that formed after we started using the ear plugs. She says it is not threatening the framework and should be easily cleaned up during the surgery. There is also a lot of scar tissue build up that she will clear up as well. She will have the surgery on early Friday morning. I am not sure how long the surgery will be. They are staying in the same hotel we were in last May for her surgery. She is very close to Disneyland, but they probably won't be going there this time. I will update the blog throughout their stay.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another surgery..

So it is amazing at how fast things can change. It looks like we will be heading to California next week for another surgery. Although we were planning on another surgery, we were not planning on it being so soon. We noticed something right below her ear canal that seems to be constricting the entrance to her canal. We have sent pictures to doctors, and the guess is that it is either scar tissue, bone, or the medpor implant. They want to look at it soon to reduce any risk of infection. It will not be a complex surgery, but they just want to take care of it sooner than later. They will also do the other minor surgery as well which we were planning on doing already. Her surgery is May 14th and we will need to be there for a pre-op on May 12th. We will be able to come home May 17 after her post op appointment. Wish us luck!