Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lilah's Day Surgery

We left the house this morning at 5:45 am and Lilah had her tissue expander put in at 7:30 am. It took about 1 1/2 hours to do the surgery. A little longer than anticipated.

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It is hard to explain, since I don't know anatomy, but Lilah has a preauricular sinus. This very small dead end tube doesn't have any purpose and isn't suppose to be there, it is just another thing... not related in any way to her cleft. It is like a large pore just in front of her ear but if you cut it out or through it there could be an infection. It made getting the tissue expander in a little more difficult because they had to access the place to put the expander from a smaller incision than planned.

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The expander is just over her cheekbone to expand the normal tissues before the second surgery. There is a port behind her ear that will be used to fill the expander when needed. The first fill will be done in about 2 weeks. Right now the tissue expander has about 10 cc's in it, but will eventually have 60 cc's. It just looks like she has a swollen cheek, with a bit of bruising.

She woke up slowly, but now after a couple of hours is acting like a regular kid. I am sure by bedtime she will be exhausted. She hasn't complained about any pain, just the tape behind her ear where the stitches run and the port is taped. She will be on antibiotics for a week to make sure infection doesn't settle in. Hopefully, this whole process will go well and in two months she can have her big surgery and we will be done with it by summer!

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Some people may wonder why I am posting about something so private, but I have had numerous people contact me through No Hands But Ours. People who have since adopted children with craniofacial clefts. Every cleft is different, but hopefully, this will encourage families who may also have to consider adopting a child with this, as well as, inform those who already have. I do plan to post photos of the process throughout the coming months, to show what a tissue expander looks like.

This is how God created Lilah and who he made her to be. I believe there is a reason for everything and this is a battle she will have to overcome, but she is such a strong little girl, I know that it will only make her stronger!

14 comments:

csmith said...

Thank you so much for sharing Lilah and her story with us! When my daughter needed jaw distraction and cleft palate surgery I tried so hard to find other families with similiar experiences. It is so comforting when people share their stories. Lilah is so sweet and pretty and I know that all of who are following cannot wait to see her progress.

Denise said...

It looks WAY better than I thought it would! She still just looks like her cute little self...

the meaklims said...

She is strong. And I absolutely believe that everything is for a purpose - the Lord gave her to you for a reason.

And I have to say, I regularly see that reason. I don't know you in person Paige, but I know you from your blog and postings, and I can tell you are a strong lady. You're not even ever so slightly a drama queen! And you have an incredible quiet confidence that little Lilah so very much needs.

You are both just as blessed to have each other.

She looks wonderful. We will be praying for her during this journey and cheering her on from the sidelines. The Lord will do great things with this beautiful child.

Hugs. Jill xx

Shutterbug Scrapbooking and Stamping said...

So happy that everything went well and she is feeling good thusfar. Thank you for sharing her story and her braveness. She is so strong and bright! I too think it is important to be a advocate and supporter for our children, but also an educator and support to other families experiencing the same thing.

Sending big hugs to you guys and your beautiful girl!

The Denis Family said...

thank you for sharing. She is very sweet and very strong. God has an amzing purpose for this little one. Thanks for letting us watch what God will do with her.

Marie said...

I have been praying for you throughout the day. So glad to hear that things went well. You must be exhausted as well. I am so proud of people like you, who do things to make the world a better place! God Bless!
PS: I am convinced that Lilah will handle everything just fine...she's like her Mama...strong with God on her side!

Danae said...

Woke up today thinking of you and Lilah & prayed through out the day. It’s great to see her looking so well and to see that little bit of a smile in that last picture:) Thanks for sharing Lilah’s story and journey. I just know God is going to use her story to change the hearts of many.

Patrick and Christina said...

We have been praying for Lilah throughout the day and were thrilled to see her in these pictures. She is a tough little cookie! Hope the swelling from the procedure doesn't bother her and that the expanding goes well. We will continue to pray for the process and for that big surgery this summer.

We are thankful that you are choosing to share. God will certain bless this.

Cassie said...
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Bonnie Brentnall said...

Paige,
Thank you for posting this. It is private for sure but will be so helpful and reassuring for families in similar situations. It is also comforting for those of us that have met Lilah and care. Love and kisses to Lilah from the Brentnalls

Oh and by the way the last post from Cassie was me. My friend is here from NY.

Canada to China and back! said...

I am so glad that Miss Lilah did so well! Our family will be praying for yours. How are you doing? As you prepare for the big surgery?

I think its great that you are sharing the treatment for Lilah's needs, so others can have a baseline when considering this paticular need.

Hugs & Blessings

Kim

Monica said...

Glad you decided to share sweet Lilah's experience. As a mom to a child with a facial cleft, the information is quite interesting. And as someone who has followed Lilah's story through your blog, it's exciting to watch what God will do.

Hope for tomorrow said...

Wow, Lilah looks great! PTL for what's being done. Lilah worked her way into our hearts during our week together. Blessings and love from the Riviera.

Cindy said...

Thank you for posting your story on Lilah's surgery. I'm glad all went well. We are still waiting for Lily's surgery in 9 days. Hoping all goese well for her.