Today we had our first appointment with Sasha's craniofacial surgeon and it all went marvelously. Well, she wasn't a huge fan of letting him see the roof of her mouth (or lack thereof), but in all other respects the visit was a success. Dr. Siddiqi was very kind and patently answered all of our questions, Primary Children's Medical Center is clearly a first-rate institution, and we have surgery scheduled on May 13th!
We have lots of doctor's appointments coming the the next weeks and months - a speech evaluation, a meeting with an Ear, Nose, and Throat doc at Primary to decide if Sasha also needs ear tubes (this is common with cleft kids because the jaw doesn't fit together quite right), surgery and follow-ups, and then a meeting with Sasha's whole cleft palate team (dentist, speech therapist, surgeon, etc) in the beginning of June. Whew!
Here's your cleft palate tidbit of the day:
We were really confused about the surgery because some websites we read indicated that if there wasn't gum involvement, the doctor just made some incisions in the sides of the palate and stretched the skin across. This made zero sense to us. But Dr. Siddiqi explained that with cleft palates, all of the ingredients for the palate are there (the skin and muscle), they just never formed a palate. So he takes those ingredients and stitches them together in the way they were meant to connect. Of course, it's more complicated than that and he has to make a few "loosening incisions" (yes, that idea makes me cringe, too)... but the basic idea is that he's taking the palate that's hiding on the sides of her mouth and putting it back where it belongs!