Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Answers!

Owen's appointment at Children's Hospital in Birmingham was satisfactory; we have some answers about his speech development.

Owen has velopharyngeal insufficiency. His soft palate does not hit the back of his throat and form a tight seal, a maneuver necessary to build up oral pressure to produce consonants. As a result, he has severely hypernasal speech, where the amount of air escaping through his nose as he talks is off the charts.

Dr. Wiatrak told us that without a pharyngeal flap surgery, Owen's speech would not improve. This surgery involves cutting a flap from the back of the throat and stitching it to the soft palate, leaving a little room on either side so the nose is not totally closed off from the throat. After the surgery is performed and all the swelling goes down, he will need intensive speech therapy.

It's what we were suspecting, and now we know for sure. We'll schedule the surgery for after the baby arrives, since the first available surgery date was during my 37th week of pregnancy! Imagine that...

5 comments:

Lynette said...

So glad you got answers! Sounds like an awful surgery and recovery, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end if we can all hear what smart little Owen is thinking! :) I think we'll be astounded . . .

What was wrong with scheduling surgery in your 37th hour? (just kidding.) :P

Anonymous said...

So, Dr. Joyce, it was what you suspected all along...And that is why doctors should always listen to mothers! I am glad you have that information and I know the surgery will go well too...
Guess what? Danlee's pregnant! 5 months! She was having some difficulty getting that way, but I dreamed she was, and now she is! It's a boy!
Anyhow, I did get your message, but yes, I had gone home to Montreal for Passover. A last hurrah before surgery on Monday...It was a fabulous visit with family and friends. Joanne

Sherri said...

Joyce,
So glad you were able to get some answers and know what the next step is now.

Thanks for updating us!

ShaunJoy said...

Ditto to the above comments. I'm sure it's a relief to finally know what it was/is/will be!

heather said...

Hey Joyce, I hadn't checked out your blog for a while....and now I see big things are happening down there. I'm glad you got a satisfactory appt. with the Dr. Now comes the hard part...surgery. Smart move to wait until after the baby is here. :) Love ya, Heather