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advice please
cosmetic surgery for child


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22 replies to this topic

#1 trishalishous

Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:38 AM

My DD has erbs palsy, and nerve damage on her left side. It is now pretty much gone, except for her left eye, which is droopy. As far as we know, it doesnt affect her vision at all. We were referred to a surgeon to have the eye lid lifted. Its a cosmetic procedure, involves a general anaesthetic and a few days in hospital, in the city. We've decided not to make the cosmetic change for her, and will reassess if it becomes an issue in school.
Now my FIL is 'concerned' about not having the op. he thinks she will be teased, and it will affect her life. I know he means well, but a gentle "we will let her decide when she is older, thank you for your love" hasnt worked, and hes emailed a letter from a top WA plastic surgeon, who he consulted without us knowing (hes a doctor so has the contacts)
I really dont want to be rude, but how do I tell him to butt out? He is a lovely person, I love him to pieces and would hate to hurt him. We became very close over the last 2 years, while I nursed MIL, and spent many nights talking until dawn.
or should I just ignore his suggestions, and go about our lives, and hope he drops the subject?

#2 kelnew

Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:20 AM

Its never easy to tell well meaning family to stop interfering. You are lucky to have family that care however it is a decision that only you and your partner should make.
You have two options, continue to allow him to give advice and disregard it. Or tell him straight what your decision is and that you would love him to support you and your DD.

Ultimately his opinion does not have to affect the decisons you and your partner make. I think you have made the right decision and hopefully he will see that as your DD grows and many of his concerns dont come to fruition.

Good luck!



#3 Funwith3

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:04 PM

Its so nice that he really cares. You're lucky. Maybe you could follow his suggestions? Maybe you could contact the plastic surgeon. Cant hurt can it?

#4 Twolittleducks

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

I guess you need (or your DH) needs to thank him for his feedback, say you've taken it on board and this is the decision you've made.

Personally, I would be listening very carefully to the advice from the medicos and weighing up the pros and cons. Not just the emotional impact of a droopy eye but also things like whether or not recovery from surgery would be easier/ harder while young and the risks involved.

Ultimately it's your DD decision when she is old enough to make it. But I would be wary of giving her an "issue" when it could be fixed now.

You're very lucky to have such a caring FIL.

Best wishes.

#5 kwiggle

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

Perhaps go visit with the suggested surgeon and listen to his advice, then decide whether or not to proceed within your immediate family. That way you show your FIL that you've listened to his concerns, you get top notch advice and all it will cost you is some time and the surgeons fee?
Multiple opinions are fabulous when it comes to medical care, particularly elective surgery.

#6 Old Grey Mare

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:29 PM

As you say, his intentions are honourable - concern for your daughter. I would thank him for contacting the plastic surgeon and tell him that you will keep the information for future reference should you decide to proceed with surgery in future.

#7 JuniPooks_

Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

Ergh this is a hard one for me. Yes, you are the parents...

OP, I had cosmetic surgery as a child and I am so, so, so glad my parents did it before I had the self awareness to have been impacted by it.

I'm sorry, but as a grandparent I'd be strongly, strongly, strongly encouraging you to do it.

Eta, though it might not affect vision now, I believe it can lead to issues in the future and can also cause headaches from straining to lift the eyelid. Just because a procedure is "cosmetic" doesn't mean their aren't "functional" reasons to have it. My sister works in the field and I believe from what she has told me, a child's brain can actually adapt to issues with vision, and even when corrected down the track their brain may not adapt to the correction. I would be investigating this thoroughly and not relying on the fact that vision is ok now.

Edited by Pooks_, 31 December 2012 - 03:42 PM.


#8 Mumma3

Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Slightly different, but I will share our experience.

DD was born with a birthmark on her tummy, of the kind that grows with the child, and it was dark brown. When she was little, we were told it could be done anytime, but as it was a type that could potentially grow malignant cells, it should be done before adulthood.

We had it checked at various times by the GP, but as the plastic surgeon was going to cost of $2000 out of pocket, it was a non urgent issue.

Cut forward to a couple of years ago, and it was causing significant issues - bleeding, itching etc and this time  were referred to the the plastics department at the children's hospital.

The surgeon there told us how much better it would have been to have had it done when she was little. Certainly, over the years she had been teased about it A LOT , but we hadn't thought it was that bad a problem - kids will always find something to tease each other about.

Unfortunately, as we left it until she was mid teens, the healing is much longer and harder. The scar is more prominent and will stay prominent for longer. Trying to schedule surgery around the busy academic and extra curricular life of a teen was quite difficult, especially considering the recovery period.

If I had my time again, I would have sought the opinion of the paediatric plastic surgeon and got on the children's hospital waiting list then. I would realise the impact of an appearance difference on a young growing child, and how that can affect their self esteem, and I would have got the birth mark removed as soon as I could.

I would encourage you to at least consult and listen to this other specialist. It is helpful to have another opinion and to be able to talk through the implications of the various options.

Edited for spelling changing meaning!

Edited by Mumma3, 01 January 2013 - 08:26 PM.


#9 erindiv

Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

The thing is, do you want to wait until she gets teased at school before you fix it? If she goes to school and gets teased, then gets it fixed, chances are kids will still tease her for what she used to have. I went to school wi a girl who had very prominent ears. She was constantly teased. After she had them pinned, she was then teased because hey, she used to have those big sticky out ears.

Wouldn't it be better to have it done before she even becomes aware of it being a possible teasing point?

Edited by erindiv, 01 January 2013 - 08:26 PM.


#10 kadoodle

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:23 PM

I had a physical deformity.  I would have sold my soul for my parents to sort it before I got to school and got monstered by classmates who called me a retard and made my life a living hell.

#11 Mousky

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:39 PM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 01/01/2013, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The thing is, do you want to wait until she gets teased at school before you fix it? If she goes to school and gets teased, then gets it fixed, chances are kids will still tease her for what she used to have. I went to school wi a girl who had very prominent ears. She was constantly teased. After she had them pinned, she was then teased because hey, she used to have those big sticky out ears.

Wouldn't it be better to have it done before she even becomes aware of it being a possible teasing point?


This

#12 SCARFACE CLAW

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

I'm another one who would seriously consider getting it done now while she's still little and it hasn't had a chance to become a problem. I was born with a mole / birthmark on my face, and my parents were told it could be removed then while it was tiny, but they didn't do it. It resulted in teasing in school, and really affected my confidence, and I thought about it constantly. I was too chicken to ask to get it removed until I was 18, and it was the best thing I ever did, though the scar is obviously a lot bigger than it would have been if done when I was a baby.

#13 *yassie*

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

I know this wasn't your original question but I felt the need to share.

I have congenital ptosis of my left eyelid (droopy eyelid). My parents took me to have it fixed as a baby and the surgeon said to wait until I was older and basically made my mum feel bad for being so vain. The ptosis wasn't affecting my eyesight it was just a cosmetic thing.

I wish to this day that my mum had gone to somebody else for a second opinion. I hate having it. I hated being teased for it at school and I hate every single photo of myself because it is more pronounced in photos. I still hope one day I will be able to have the surgery.

It is only a decision you and your DH can make at this stage but I just wanted to give you my story.

QUOTE
As you say, his intentions are honourable - concern for your daughter. I would thank him for contacting the plastic surgeon and tell him that you will keep the information for future reference should you decide to proceed with surgery in future.


I think this is great advice.

Good luck with your decision OP  original.gif

Edited by *yassie*, 01 January 2013 - 10:00 PM.


#14 Madnesscraves

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

I'd like to share my experience. I was born with a horrible birthmark on my forehead. A bit like a 3rd eye. It was awful. My parents decided to 'wait and see' and I wish they hadn't. School was just horrible. They wouldn't even consider it until I got to 15. We had PHI and it was covered under that and they wouldn't get rid of it until I practically started trying to stratch it off.

OP. I'd get it fixed. Better its fine when she's young and can bounce back better. Your FIL means well and I get where he's coming from. I know I'd be peeved if someone kept sending referrals to me but in this case... I really don't think your DD deserves to have to wait until she's older and see. I'd get it fixed ASAP.

#15 MummaBirdy

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:41 PM

QUOTE (SCARFACE CLAW @ 01/01/2013, 09:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm another one who would seriously consider getting it done now while she's still little and it hasn't had a chance to become a problem. I was born with a mole / birthmark on my face, and my parents were told it could be removed then while it was tiny, but they didn't do it. It resulted in teasing in school, and really affected my confidence, and I thought about it constantly. I was too chicken to ask to get it removed until I was 18, and it was the best thing I ever did, though the scar is obviously a lot bigger than it would have been if done when I was a baby.


I could have written this post, except my parents were advised to wait til I was older. I still have lingering self confidence issues because of it. I so wish it had been dealt with when I was younger. It took so much for me to make the decision to have it removed in year 12, as I had to wear bandages to school for weeks and everyone knew exactly what I'd had done.

#16 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

Sorry OP but it would be naive to think it won't impact her. I would at least follow up on some of the stuff.  This is not the "let eat ice cream all day" type inference. I think he is obviously very concerned for her future well being.


#17 Jenflea

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:51 AM

Kids are mean. There's no going around it. Kids will ALWAYS pick on another kid's 'defect', be it glasses or a birthmark or whatever.
I'd get it fixed now BEFORE it becomes an issue. Why would you possibly let her be picked on if you have the means(and the advice) to fix it now, before it becomes an issue?

#18 rosiebird

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:03 AM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 01/01/2013, 09:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had a physical deformity.  I would have sold my soul for my parents to sort it before I got to school and got monstered by classmates who called me a retard and made my life a living hell.


I think you should follow good advice even if it comes from your FIL. thank him for his concern and see the top plastic surgeon in WA.

Your ideals and dislike of "cosmetic" surgery may cause real problems and unhappiness for your daughter. As Pooks said, ptosis is not just a cosmetic problem. Just get it fixed now.

#19 WithSprinkles

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:27 AM

Usually I don't think grandparents have the right to interfere in most cases. However, in this instance I can really see where your FIL is coming from and think that if I were in his position I probably would have done the same.

I would really consider your decision carefully.

If you do decide that you really do not want your daughter to have the surgery, then explain your reasoning to him and just say look I know we aren't going to agree on this but in the end it is our decision and I don't want this to affect our good relationship. When giving negative feedback, I always find it helpful to do it in a "Sh*t sandwich" format - i.e. one good thing, followed by bad thing, then ending with good thing. E.g:

We love that you are such a caring grandfather (good thing) but this is our decision to make and we have thought long and hard about this decision/it's one we have not made lightly. We hope you can accept our decision (bad thing/what you really want to say) It's great that DD has such a wonderful grandparent and I love the relationship we have so hope that this doesn't affect that (good thing).

To be honest though, I think that it will put a little strain on the relationship and you might just have to be prepared to accept that. I know that it probably wouldn't be something I could easily let go of when it is something that can be fixed much more easily now.

Good luck.


#20 Maple Leaf

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:35 AM

I would really look at getting it done while she's younger and before school.

How old is your DD?


#21 jenniferaniston

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

Agree with the others - I would look at getting it done while she is younger too.
original.gif

#22 Great Dame

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:01 AM

OP, I think it's pretty fair to say it will be an issue in school.  It's unfortunate but highly unlikely she won't be teased.  If you would, as you say, "reassess if it becomes an issue in school" then I would just do it now.  Because it will be an issue in school.

#23 esme weatherwax

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

Sorry OP, I'm with pp's and your FIL, his concern for your daughter is completely valid, and comes from love. It can't hurt to see the specialist and get their opinion and advice, even if you decide not to go ahead with surgery. At least then you have all the knowledge to weigh up the pros and cons






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