Conall's Cleft Lip and Palate

Conall, our youngest son, was born October 31, 2002 with a wide unilateral cleft lip and palate. Conall weighed 10lbs, 10oz! Not such a little guy! Over his lifetime, he will have several procedures and surgeries to bring the separated parts of his mouth together. We're using the blog as a place to share our experience with others who are seeking information and, perhaps, some reassurance.

January 03, 2007

Palate Surgery - September 2003

September 12, 2003 - 12:30 pm. Sick Kids Toronto. Mommy takes Conall to check in for his palate repair surgery. Conall had his last bottle of breast milk 4 hours ago & 4 oz of apple juice moments ago. If he is hungry, he isn't letting us know!!

Alison, the cleft nurse, gets Conall ready for surgery. Nice gown!

2:15 pm - Conall's anesthetist and surgeon meet with Mommy and Daddy to describe the procedure. Conall will be under general anesthetic for the surgery which should last 3-4 hours. During that time, the doctors will insert ear tubes as well as repair his palate.

Dr. Fisher (Conall's plastic surgeon) poses with Conall before his surgery

A nurse takes Conall to the operating room

5:00 pm - Dr. Fisher comes into the waiting room to inform us that the surgery was a great success. The doctor who inserted the tubes in Conall's ears also lets us know that it went well. A half hour later, we go in to see Conall in the recovery room. We may stay long enough only to take a few pictures.

Conall looks really good after his surgery. Saliva mixing with the blood makes it look like more than it really is. The nurses have placed him on his tummy to help with the drainage.

7:00 PM - Conall is wheeled up to the Critical Care Unit where he will spend the night. The nurses have fashioned a tent to go over Conall to keep the air around him moist. We may visit him for as long as we wish, but he will be sleeping most of the time as the anesthetic wears off and the Morphine takes affect.

Day 2 - By morning Conall is up & alert, but swollen.. He took some water during the night much to the surprise of the nurse! He doesn't know what to do with his tongue, so he sticks it out.

Conall enjoys going for walks around the hospital. He is very sleepy and is still on Morphine. He is now drinking a bit of breastmilk from a soft-sip feeder. There is discussion of going home tomorrow.

We are beginning to see a bit of the old Conall back!

Day 16 - Conall wears arm-restraints for the 3 weeks after his surgery. We must be careful not to permit him to damage the new palate. He doesn't seem to mind too much!

Click here for the next post about Conall's journey.