This surgery was stressful for us because, not only were they working on her eyes this time, but it was also at a different hospital than we were used to. Her previous three surgeries were at Vanderbilt, but this one was at LeBonheur because her opthamologist is in Memphis, not Nashville, and he has privileges there. I had heard great things about LeBonheur; we weren't worried that it wasn't as good of a hospital, just that it was not the one we already knew.
The surgery went great, and our surgery experience at this hospital was fantastic, so much more positive experience than we have had with surgeries at Vanderbilt. (Note: Vanderbilt is an excellent hospital, and we have many positive experiences with them, but their out-patient surgery experience takes an entire day...sun-up to sun-down and lots of waiting. The most frustrating part is that all three times she has has surgery there, they have changed her time either up or back couple hours without notifying us, and we live almost three hours away from them...so that's a pretty big problem.)
At LeBonheur, we had to get there two hours early, which was 5:30am for a 7:30 surgery. They schedule surgery times by age, little ones first, and she was the youngest of the day, so hers was the earliest surgery that day. We were about 10 minutes late, and no one was mean to us (which is just nice). We didn't wait for long to go back to pre-op, and we were very pleasantly surprised by the wall of new toys they had for their little patients to choose from to bring home. Each child (even teenagers) who came for a surgery gets to choose a new toy (random item for the big kids) to take home. We chose this plush talking ball for Zoe.
Her doctor had surgery privileges at two different hospitals and alternates weekly between the two. Well, he was late because he went to the wrong one first. He breezed in right about 7:30, came right to us, apologized for being late, went over the surgery with us, and then left to get ready. We figured that would slow things down a bit, but she was taken back to the OR ten minutes later. It was amazing...we couldn't believe it happened so quickly, much less on time.
Her surgery didn't take long, maybe an hour, and they came to get us. I was dreading how mad she would be, but for once, she woke up in a reasonable decent mood (and in a timely manner-not entirely normal for our Zoe). She didn't seem to be in pain at all. We were discharged to leave shortly after, and we were home by about 11am. At Vanderbilt, it would have been at least evening before we were discharged, let alone home.
It was a great surgery experience. I think I am going to change switch her to an ENT in Memphis so that if she has another ears-nose-throat surgery it can be done there.
The surgery was very successful; I think that may be one of the reasons she was such a trooper. It made such a difference for her! The surgery was supposed to give her a less-obstructed line of sight by adjusting the angle of her lash line so that she can see without having to look through her eyelashes so much. You can see in the photos below what he did. I didn't post a before picture because, although the surgery was successful, the difference can be seen more in her demeanor than by looking at her eyes.
The surgery was denied payment by insurance because they considered it cosmetic, and so we've been in battle the last few months. Yesterday, though, we got a letter from them, that they have changed their minds and will pay for it after all. The doctor's office and their billing office filed an appeal, and I filed a grievance; thankfully something worked, especially since there will probably be another similar surgery in the near future to lift her eyelids a little. This was sort of a stepping stone to that one to see how she handled it and help her see better in the meantime.
|with her new toy in pre-op|
|playing with daddy|
|busting out in her jammies :)|
|she had to wear splints on her arms for a week post-op to keep her hands out of her eyes, but she finally figured out how to hold her bottle.|
|you can really see the difference here; her eyelashes are pointing up now instead of down over her eyes.|
|mommy and Zoe selfie|