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Craniofacial Surgery: Tennessee Craniofacial Center Erlanger Health System

Erlanger on Apert:
A PDF File

Nat'l Org. for Rare Disorders: Apert's & Related Conditions

Craniofacial Work at Columbia:
CPMCnet

Apert Syndrome: Faces-Cranio Disorders

Clinical Variability in Patients:
Neurosurgery.Org


THE SECOND AND THIRD HAND SURGERIES: MISSING SOME KNUCKLES, BUT LOOKING
A WHOLE LOT BETTER

AUGUST 2000

Apert Syndrome
The Hand Surgeries:
Second and Third in a Series

BY JOHN MICKELSON

As Peter Noonan of Herman's Hermits once sang about Henry the Eighth, "second verse, same as the first." Similarly, August would introduced a repeat of the May surgery, but on the opposite hand.

Andrew proved rugged coming out of this one, needing morphine only coming out of surgery in the recovery area. Mere Tylenol® (not Tylenol with codeine, which makes him upchuck) kept his pain at bay thereafter.

It's often the denouement of the surgery (recovery at home) that leads to surprises. First Andrew's pseudo-gel, semi-adhesive clear wrap over the abdomen fell off, exposing the choice area where skin-for-grafting is removed. Another trip to the emergency room, and a two-hour wait, hoping that someone present will know that this kind of repair requires different wrapping and protective bandaging from that norm.

October: Making Two Fingers Out of "One."
This fall operation held more uncertainty for us, although Dr. Bentz had no doubts. And he was correct. I thought that Andrew had only one finger bone inside the skin and tissue that formed the conjoined middle two fingers. But a late X-ray revealed that two separate finger bones came from the knuckles on the hand, and the only conjoined bone was from the finger tips down to where the first knuckles were supposed to be. Still a challenge, to cut through the conjoined bone and give Andrew two distinctly separate middle and ring fingers on his left hand.

The surgeon made it look easy, surprising us by wheeling Andrew out of surgery almost an hour earlier than we had expected.

Now this time, I thought, with two throbbing fingers fresh from a surgical separation at bone level, Andrew would certainly require morphine during his night stay at the hospital.

But Andrew proved me wrong again. He might frighten all too easily at some of the ordinary aspects of life, but he's a soldier coming out of surgery. All through the night he only needed TylenolŪ, although I had to administer it: he would no longer let anyone in a blue smock or scrubs get near him if he could help it. These surgeries had made him immediately mistrust those trained caregivers in uniform...

And this would happen yet again, early in 2001, to separate similarly conjoined fingers on Andrew's right hand.

 

 

APERT SYNDROME STORIES/SUPPORT

Apert Support Group at Harvard.

Andrea's Page. Personal account from Andrea Gartner, a college student with Apert Syndrome.

Amy's Page. Personal account from Amy Esler, a girl with Apert Syndrome.

Apert ListServ. An archive of ListServ postings on Apert Syndrome.

ApertInfo: Story of Matthew Romero, in conjunction with Children's Hospital of Boston.

OTHER RESOURCES (These Links Will Open In New Browser Windows)

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