Today we had our pre-op appointment for Isla's palate repair. Up until now, I think that I've been in denial about this surgery. I mean...I know it was going to happen, but I just haven't put too much thought into it because life's been pretty normal and I like it this way.
Her surgery is set for August 7th (two weeks from today) and it will be about a 3 hour surgery. They are going to repair the hard and soft palate, which I can only imagine is going to be worse than the lip/nose repair. She's going to have to learn how to swallow all over again, and eventually she'll be able to suck for the first time!
The hardest part about all this is going to be our recovery time. Our plastic surgeon has very strict post -op rules.
- 6 weeks of wearing arm restraints
- 6 weeks of eating ONLY formula out of a squeeze bottle
- 6 weeks of no solids
- 6 weeks of NOTHING in her mouth
- 6 weeks of pure hell
She explained why she is so strict, so I will do my best to relay the information she gave me. She said that our hard palate is made up of these tiny little fibers that all fuse together, and that is why the skin there is so tough. And when you create scar tissue in that skin, it gets even tougher. During the first 6 weeks, she is going to be very sensitive to getting a hole (called a fistula) in her hard palate, and this can occur with even a finger touching it. These holes are not easy to repair once they happen, she said, and the reason being so is because of that hard scar tissue that will be formed after the first repair. She also told me that there is a 50:50 chance that once a fistula occurs, that she will need multiple surgeries to correct it, which is obviously not what we want. And this is why she is overly conservative with her recovery rules.
They are also going to be repairing the soft palate and repairing the muscle as well. This is what will help with her speech later on. Without the repairing of the muscle, she will have a lifetime of speech therapy...so fingers crossed she repairs it perfect!
If any of you know Isla, you know that restraining her for 6 weeks is going to be the worst part of this whole experience. So prayers, good vibes and energy please! We will need it.