Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Post Op Appointment with Dr Lehocky

Rachel had her post op appointment this morning...just a day short of 4 weeks since surgery. Dr. Lehocky said her lip was looking great and has healed nicely. He explained to us that we could start to see her lip start to pull up at the incision site, the reason being that the scar tissue is tightening, and over time as it relaxes it will loosen. He said that her nose might need a little work, which is normal for most babies who've had a wide cleft, as Rachel did. A nose revision would most likely take place when she's 4 or 5. Right now it's hard to tell if she'll need a revision, because she's still growing and her face is changing.

I had a long list of questions to ask him. The first question was when will her palate be fixed. He said between 8-12 months of age. He filled out the paperwork for the palate repair in hopes that we won't be forgotten. More than likely her palate repair will take place in July or August, which makes her closer to 10-11 months old. They will also place tubes in her ears at the same time. A routine procedure done with cleft affected babies to keep fluid from building up in their ears that lead to infections, and sometimes hearing loss, which all can affect their speech development. The next couple of questions involved her scar...I've read online of people massaging the scar which helps loosen it. He said we could do that. I'm going to wait a while longer on that one...the area is still pretty tender and she cries when we simply wipe her nose, I can't imagine how painful it would be if I was massaging the area. I also asked about applying Vitamin E or Mederma to the scar to help minimize it. Her scar looks awesome and there are some days you can hardly see it, but I still would like to do what I can do to help the look of the scar in the long run. He said either would be fine, although there is no research to back up that those prodcuts do reduce scaring. I'm going to do the Vitamin E route because it's cheaper than Mederma and I have read of people using it and it helping. A few weeks ago I asked our Pediatrician if Rachel could start on solids, and he said because of her cleft palate, to ask our plastic surgeon, so I asked and Dr. Lehocky said it's perfectly fine. He did say that sometimes food can become stuck up in the palate, but it works its way out. I bought some rice cereal in anticipation of starting solids, and now that we've been given the approval, I'll try giving her cereal tomorrow. I'll be sure to post pictures of this event!!

As for him leaving, the date of his departure keeps getting pushed back. And he said he might very well be the one to see us prior to her palate repair. It would be nice if he was around to do the palate repair, only because we've already been working with him. But if he does leave, another surgeon could easily take his place. All the cosmetic/reconstructive surgery on the outside was done by the same doctor, the next doctor would be working on the inside.

Aside from the happenings of her post op appointment, she's doing great. Continuing to love her freedom from restraints. We acquired an exersaucer over the weekend from a friend and she's been loving sitting in that! She is able to turn in it and watch us as we move from the couch into the kitchen and vice versa. LOL. She's sleeping great. She continues to have some attitude at some of her bottles, which scares off the grandmas for potential babysitting opportunities. LOL. The midday bottle is the absolute worst and involves a huge attitude. I might try giving her her cereal at this time of day and see if I can avoid getting attitude.

And to close this post, I just want to say another "Thank You" to all of you who follow Rachel's Journey. And many thanks to those who pray for her, and us! We appreciate all your prayers, thoughts, emails, and feedback left on this site!

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