Friday, February 7, 2014

Palatial Prosthesis & NAM

Walt will undergo about eight surgeries over the course of 15 or so years, starting at 7 weeks. When we met with his surgeon last week, we scheduled his first two surgeries, the first being in March.

That first surgery will be an outpatient procedure that only takes about 30 minutes to put in a Nasoalveolar Molding, or NAM, and palatal prosthesis. We meet with the pediatric orthodontist in a few weeks where they'll make a mold of the roof of his mouth, which will be used to make the prosthetic.

Walt’s cleft is called a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, meaning that the cleft affects from his soft palate all the way up into his nose. A cleft lip and palate often leave the middle part of the nose and the nasal cartilage deformed, like Walt’s. Surgery alone is often not enough to provide an aesthetically acceptable correction. 

The NAM technique takes advantage of the malleability of immature cartilage of the nose and the ability to non-surgically construct and center the columella (middle part of the nose) through the application of tissue expansion. By the addition of a nasal portion to the molding plate, they can often correct and center the nasal tip, the base on the affected side, as well as the position of the philtrum, (vertical groove in the middle area of the lip) and columella.

This nasal portion is sort of like a wire arm with a ball on the end that extends up into the left side of Walt's nose. It is supposed to stretch his nose, making it easier for the surgeon to create his nostril. 

The NAM has hooks attached to both sides of his open gum line, that will have a small chain attached between the hooks, which will be tightened every other week at the surgeon’s office. The purpose of this is to stretch his gum line and lip tissue, so when he goes back in for his lip and nose repair in May the gap will be much smaller.

My goal with this blog is to keep it updated with Walt's doctor appointments, surgeries and progress. Here's to hoping I can do it!


● C E L I N A ● said...

Yes!!!! You blogged!!! I love little Walt and am glad I can keep updated on his progress!

Emily said...

What a sweet baby! I'm glad you are keeping us up to date. You are such a good Mom and that is a lucky little boy to have you all to help him through. xoxo

Sue said...

I love being part of this whole process. Thank you for involving me.


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