The information and opinions on this blog come from parents, and the blog is not associated with Primary Children´s Medical Center or any other institution.


This site is specifically for parents of kids with clefts being treated at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I hope that there will be information that is helpful to all parents of kids with clefts. If you are just starting to learn about clefts, I would suggest starting with the "General Information" topic and going from there. To find information on a specific doctor or topic, click on one of the links on the right. You can also search the blog using the box below the topic list. If you have information or experiences to share, please leave comments or contact me to do a guest post at Thanks for visiting!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A note on choosing a surgeon

I have tried to put together a snapshot of the surgeons that work at PCMC, including comments that parents have made about them. However, I found that this was only semi-helpful because everyone had so many good things to say about all of the surgeons. A recurring pattern in messages among the Utah Kids with Clefts group goes something like this:

"Our surgeon is Dr. So-and-So. We LOVE him. He does amazing work, and we like such-and-such about his personality and/or practice. But we have heard great things about all of the surgeons at PCMC, so you really can't go wrong."

While it is nice to know you can't go wrong, it doesn't help in the narrowing-down process for new parents that just want some direction. So you may want to contact the surgeons or even meet with them individually, and keep a couple of things in mind:
  • Personality matters. Handing your little one over to a doctor is a hard thing, and even if you know your doctor will do a great job, it's tough when you don't mesh with their personality. Some people will love a doctor's bedside manner, and others will hate it. See how you feel, because everyone is different.
  • Although most of the doctors at PCMC have similar timelines, there are some definite differences, including how they mold the child's lip or palate (using a removable molding device, a chain, or a surgically implanted prosthesis), how they do bone grafts (removing bone from the hip or using a chemical protein), etc. Talk to parents that have experienced both, and see how you feel (this is where joining the group is a huge help!).
  • Who does your insurance cover? Usually you will have a choice between a couple of surgeons, but your insurance may narrow things down for you.
As a side note, in the profiles of each surgeon I tried to include comments that were more telling about the surgeons than "We love him!" There were many, many comments to that effect about all of the doctors. I also tried to take a representative sample of the comments without having any bias toward my son's surgeon. But so you know, we use Dr. Morales, and you can take that into account when considering the comments that I have included.

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