Friday, February 27, 2009

One Month Update

Well it has been one month since Lauren's Atresia repair surgery and she is doing well. Today she had an appointment with her ear doctor Dr. Kelly. He removed the final bit of gel foam packing and the small plastic disc that was protecting her new ear drum. We will return in two weeks for an audiogram test to see how much improvement she has with her hearing. We are optimistic because of what she has said, but we will see.

About a week ago Lauren was fitted with an expander placed inside her mouth. It is a lot like an upper retainer you would wear after having braces removed. Although this is much bulkier than a retainer. Every day we have to put a small key into it to turn the gears and tighten it. The expander is supposed to help straighten her upper jaw so that when they go to distract the bottom jaw, it will be even. Because this device is so bulky, it makes it awkward for her. She has difficultly speaking and eating with it in, but she is starting to adjust. Unfortunately, she may have to wear this for up to 6 months. It all depends on how soon she progresses with it. We met with another doctor this week who could perform the lower jaw distraction. He recommended finishing up with her ear surgeries and then the distraction could be done. It is sounding more and more like the jaw might be the most difficult of the surgeries because it is working on her bones. It is undecided how long she will need distraction. It also is just a matter of how long it takes for her jaw and bite to be where they want it.

Other than that, we are working on making travel plans for the Medpor surgery in May to construct her outer ear. We will be having the surgery at the Cedar Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills with Dr. Lewin. We were joking that we may see some celebrities at the hospital. They would be there for some touch up plastic surgery or Botox shots. We are seriously thinking about hitting Disneyland on our visit, but it all depends on how well Lauren feels after the surgery.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ear Doctor Results

After the weekend we realized we should let everyone know what happened at the ear doctor on Friday. Everything went great. He removed the outer packing in her new canal and her skin graft bandage was removed. It is amazing at how fast the body heals. She has been amazing and SO patient. We are SO proud of her.

Today we took her to the orthodontic surgeon at Primary Children's Hospital to have her fitted for an upper palate expander. Her left lower jaw is slightly shorter than her right lower jaw. In July or August she will need jaw surgery. To prepare for this surgery her upper left jaw needs to be extended to prepare for the lengthening of her lower left jaw. This expander will help with this. It will be permanent for six months. It is not painful and almost looks like a retainer. She is excited that they will be making a special PINK one just for her.

Thanks to all of you for your continuous support and interest. We are lucky to have such great family and friends. We will continue to update everyone as things happen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Home and Recovering
(This link will show photos of Lauren pre and post op. Some pictures are graphic)

We are home and Lauren is doing great! It is so suprising at how little pain she has had. We are looking forward to seeing Dr. Kelly our local ear doctor to remove her bandage over her skin graft on Friday. He will also trim some of the packing inside her new canal.

She will say out of the blue throughout the day, I HEAR MY EAR. As the packing is slowly removed Dr. Roberson said it will just get louder. It is very exciting.

We are already starting to look at the next surgery scheduled May 5. This surgery will be outer ear reconstruction. Dr. Lewin in Los Angeles will be doing this procedure. Lauren is already excited to see the "girl doctor" that we met in October. So here we go again. We will continue to update everyone on how she is doing.