January 24, 2010
So after going to the Let Them Hear Foundation annual Microtia/Atresia Conference in October we have decided to go with ear reconstruction using medpor implant. We met with Dr. Brent, Dr. Reinisch and Dr. Lewin. All doctors are passionate about what they do. In the end my husband and I agree that we both felt medpor was the route we wanted to go and to go with Dr. Lewin since she accepts insurance. So the next question was when. I knew we can do it at age 3 but Aaron wanted to wait until 4, no real reason why but just thought we can wait. I spoke to Dr. Lewin on the phone for a half hour and asked lots of questions. She was so wonderful to talk to and assured me that 3 or 4 did not matter but that the earlier they do the surgery the kids just seem to bounce back faster and complain of less pain. She also mentioned that there are surgical advantages in doing it younger. Next thing we knew Trey's surgery was scheduled for March 23rd, just 2 weeks after his 3rd birthday. She was booked up until June and we wanted to try and get the second stage surgery in on the same calendar year and doing it in March versus June gives us that. Just saves us lots of money since our insurance is (I am hoping) going to cover it and one surgery will get us to our out of pocket maximum so the second surgery shouldn't cost us except for travel expenses.
So we are off to Cedars Sinai in March, we will have to stay in town for over 2 weeks due to follow up appointments. The surgery is expected to be 8-10 hours long but is an out patient surgery so he will come home that day. Pain should be minimal from what we are told, usually from the skin graft sites which will be behind the good ear and either from the scalp or groin area. Our hope is that it be a positive experience for Trey so he won't have anxiety over future surgeries for his jaw ( we expect 1-2 jaw distractions) So our plan is to go to Disneyland a week after the surgery. From what I have heard from others who have already done this journey is that it is possible. So that is the plan.
Right now I am doing my best not to think about the surgery and how Trey will look different the moment he is done. I hope he always knows that we feel he is perfect as he is and the surgery is not about "fixing" anything but we know that most likely one day having a small ear will probably bother him and that one day he will need glasses and living in AZ he needs to wear sunglasses. Straps don't work well for him to keep sunglasses on. Those are just a few of our many reasons to do the surgery and we right now can only hope for the best. Right now we have him talking about going to Disneyland after he gets his bigger ear. YEAH for Disneyland.