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.

November 01, 2008

Another Round of Ear Tubes

Once again, Conall is as brave as can be during a hospital procedure. After waiting almost 6 months to get a new set of ear tubes, Conall's surgery date finally arrived on October 27th.

Conall has had more sets of ear tubes than I've been able to keep count. Children born with cleft palates almost always have ear passages that don't drain properly. As a result, they can experience more than their fair share of ear infections and other complications. We've been pretty lucky so far with tubes falling out without much ado but this time was a bit different. Conall had been complaining about ear pain and our cleft team in Toronto suggested some tests. It turned out Conall was experiencing some hearing loss in one ear from a tube that had tried (unsuccessfully) to make its way out of his ear canal. His pain was related to noise and it is quite difficult to keep the noise down for a 5 year old in a grade 1 class though the day and two brothers the rest of the time! It was a tough 6 months waiting for the surgery, but he came through with flying colors!

Here is Conall at the Alberta Children's Hospital being prepared for the short surgery.

He thinks he's in heaven when they give him his "own" DVD player to watch while he waits to go in to surgery.

When they do call him down, Conall skips to the operating room - the hospital staff are always surprised at how relaxed Conall is, but I expect it now; we have worked very hard over the years to make his hospital experiences positive. I asked the anesthetist if I could come in for Conall's induction and he gave me the "OK". It is always up to them but I haven't been turned down yet! It is difficult to watch him as the gas begins to take affect - he struggles against it, but soon enough his is asleep and I can make my way back to the waiting room.

Here is Conall and his popsicle right after the surgery - it went really well and Dr. Drummond expects the pain will have gone away for Conall. We will follow up in 5 weeks with him.