Saturday, March 28, 2009

Victoria's Fingers

I feel at peace about moving forward with Victoria's finger surgery. She has clinodactyly of the index fingers and either that or kirner's deformity of the pinky fingers (thanks, Claire, for the terminology). I'd gotten mixed opinions, but decided to go forward with it for three main reasons:

1) My research turned up articles like this one "Surgical Correction of Clinodactyly in the Skeletally Immature Patient" from the Harvard Medical School online (click and scroll down to second article). Thirty-two fingers were operated on (average patient age was 3.9 years) for clinodactyly. The children later rated their satisfaction level with the surgery results at 9.1 out of 10 and their families rated theirs 9.3 out of 10. Of the 32 fingers, complications included two fingers with growth restrictions, two with motion restrictions (didn't say if they were the same two fingers) and one finger in which the deformity recurred. Sounds like it's certainly worth an attempt.

2) The same lady, Jill, who referred me to Dr. Paley for Rachel also described a little of her own effort to get treatment for her daughter's congenital hand deformity. She said she learned that a microsurgeon was the type of doctor she needed to seek out, and she encouraged me to do the same. That caused me to check into Victoria's surgeon's credentials, and amazingly, he is not only a plastic surgeon but also a nationally-respected reconstructive hand microsurgeon. He's very confident about it, and he did a good job with Rebekah's craniofacial surgery (he and the neurosurgeon teamed up for it). He's painfully cautious, and the fact that he feels so strongly that Victoria will benefit from the surgery and that complications are highly unlikely gives me confidence as well.

3) I feel good about it and don't have any fear.

Now that I've decided to do it, I feel I should get it done fairly soon, because Victoria's starting school in June.

The good news is that this surgery for Victoria is already sponsored! The surgeon quoted it at Rs. 20,000 (US $400), and someone (who prefers to remain anonymous) with a real soft spot for Victoria wrote to me to ask if I'd decided to do it, and when I told her I had decided to go forward, she sent the funds immediately. Someday these kiddos will know how loved they are by people on the other side of the world they've never even met!


Theresa said...

Personlly, I will miss her crooked little fingers. They were so precious. But I'm sure she will be thrilled with new ones!

sarah bess said...

I hear ya. Rebekah's hands are darling, too! Prakash's I just want to fix. Halfway between the natural and the corrected is unsatisfying somehow.

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