Advanced Surgery and Supportive Rehabilitation
“Fred had his first corrective surgery at 4 months. He also had a GPP (gingivoperiosteoplasty, a surgical procedure to help cleft tissue heal without the need for bone grafting), which is not done at many institutions. The GPP will reduce his chances of needing a bone graft at age 8 or 9, by surgically creating a bone bridge across the alveolus (the base of the gum and teeth) at the time of the cleft lip repair.
Fred had his second surgery when he was 11 months old. Just like before, we were scared and still learning how to navigate his surgeries and recovery. Dr. Caterson and Kim Giordano, the plastic surgery nurse practitioner, were so involved and hands-on with helping us master the ins and outs of what his recovery would require. Shortly after, Kim asked us if we would help other families who are just starting their cleft journey. We were thrilled to help answer any questions or just connect on a level of understanding with families dealing with the same shock and fear we experienced. We are now part of Kim's "Mom Squad," and it feels great to be advocates and a source of support for others.
Today, Fred is just like any other 18-month-old. He is a bundle of energy, always in motion and quite the hugger.”