Dr. O & Dr. Waner
We spent a good portion of Tuesday morning in the offices of Dr. O & Dr. Waner. It always feels a little like coming home for me when we walk into their offices. Several of their staff have remained the same since we first met in November of 2011, even after they switched hospitals. I always have the strong urge to greet all of them with a big hug, but force myself to keep my arms at my sides.
Both doctors agreed that Josie's tumor showed little to no growth and that her asymmetries were due "simply" to differences in bone growth. Now I know shaving & shaping bone sounds awful and complicated, but it is a small victory to us that her tumor has stayed at bay for the past 2 years. Any bone work that Josie has had done in the past has healed relatively quick and given her little to no discomfort. We were enthusiastically given the green light to begin the reanimation process starting this summer (shaping the bone beneath her eye will also happen during this surgery).
Dr. O spent a good amount of time walking us through slides and video of the reanimation procedures as well as before and after photos and videos of patients. Their results were so exciting and reassuring to us, as were Dr. Waner's words..."there is a nearly 100% success rate". The following video is of a boy who had the reanimation procedures. While he has a different reason for facial paralysis, his results make my heart happy. The video also gives a good idea of what will happen clinically during Josie's procedures.
The Super Dr. Super
Dr. O and Dr. Waner were insistent that we meet a Maxillofacial surgeon that they have worked very closely with. I have to admit I had my reservations about meeting Dr. Super. I worried about opinions not matching up with our University of Iowa doctor and being forced to decide which was right. I worry way too much.
While the meeting very nearly didn't happen due to a last minute emergency surgery & our overlapping appointments, the super Dr. Super made it happen for us. From our first hand-shake and exchange of greetings we were drawn in to Dr. Super. The picture used from his website does not do him justice, he was so kind-hearted and had this Santa-type smile.
We went into our appointment with him knowing that he was out of network for us and that we'd have to cover the cost of the office visit. During our visit with him he said he wanted to take a baseline CT scan while we were there as well as photos. Knowing how much scans would be out of pocket I asked if we could wait to have the scans done at home with someone in network. Without hesitation he said "how about this...no charge." I know other doctors have done this, but for the most part this doesn't happen for us. We both thanked him profusely & his response was "see, we New Yorkers aren't all bad." He took his time, looked at her scans with us & agreed with our U of Iowa doctor in that her jaw bone is symmetrical and that he saw no problems or urgent needs other than preventative orthodontia. He is going to work with our Iowa pediatric dentist to set up a treatment plan.
I looked at Dave after leaving his office and said all of that was well worth the $250 office fee. What peace of mind; that is just completely priceless to me. The only down side to the whole visit with Dr. Super was that we really, really liked him and want to continue under his care. He has treated other patients with Josie's diagnosis & he has a phenomenal track record (if you look him up). We're hopeful that our insurance works with us.
Speaking of looking him up, after our visit I was reading more about Dr. Super and found that he isn't just any old Maxillofacial surgeon. He is THE Chief of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Lenox Hill as well as the Director for the Center of Dentofacial Deformities and Corrective Jaw Surgery.
My take away lesson from this trip: it takes a village of specialists when it comes to treating complicated cases. I need to stop fearing what we'll find out next & just be thankful that God keeps opening all the right doors for us.