We had our first appointment with the plastic surgeon who will eventually repair Micah's cleft palate. He feels that there is enough tissue to have a successful repair. We have to see a couple other specialists (ENT and pediatric dentist) before we can schedule his surgery. We're trying to coordinate appointments and surgery schedules to minimize procedures.
For those who are unfamiliar with cleft lip and palate, here's a helpful webpage: What is Cleft Lip/Palate? Micah's condition is like Figure 1b on that page (unilateral complete). His lip was repaired in China which is why he has that sweet smile. This next surgery will close his palate. He will likely have future surgeries to redo his lip and nose as he grows and to make sure he has adequate bone to support his adult teeth as they come in.
We learned some good news (at least to my ears). The doctor said that he won't use no-no's for Micah after his surgery. No-no's are arm splints used to keep his arms from bending so he can't put his hands in his mouth and possibly interfere with the healing. For children Micah's age, they will bond an obturator (kind of like a retainer) to the roof of his mouth so the palate can heal. I was wondering how I was going to keep no-no's on him!
After his surgery he will probably have speech therapy to teach him to use his new palate.
Here's a picture of Micah with his Lao Lao (maternal grandmother). I can't tell who's happier!