Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Before and After Tongue Reduction Surgery

It is said a picture speaks a thousand words, and I think that is especially true in showing just how much Micaelyn needed the tongue reduction surgery.  There are different types of tongue enlargement - length, width, and depth.  Micaelyn had all 3 types with the depth being her most significant problem (and also the most difficult to deal with surgically).  Some people found it to hard to understand her need for surgery since her tongue did fit inside her mouth, but her tongue filled up her mouth so much she almost never closed her mouth other than to swallow.  Even at 4 1/2 years her mouth was always hanging open.  A major concern was the fact the pressure from her tongue was causing her lower jaw to be pushed forward so much that she had developed a significant underbite.  If she had not had the surgery the underbite would have continued to worsen so that by the time she was a teenager she would have needed major jaw reconstruction surgery along with the tongue reduction surgery.

Here are some pictures of Micaelyn before the surgery.  You can see how her mouth was always open. You couldn't even see her teeth because her tongue protruded beyond them.




Before the surgery Micaelyn very often had her tongue completely hanging out of her mouth, especially when she was busy doing something.  This next picture was taken completely spontaneously before she realized I was taking pictures (whenever she saw me with the camera she would pull her tongue in so even though she often looked like this it was hard to capture it in pictures).

Here is another one with her tongue stuck out.  It looks like she was sticking it out purposely for the picture, but it's just because she just happened to look towards me right as I was taking the picture.  We were at one of Joshua's basketball games, and because she thought I was still taking pictures of him I was able to get one of her without her pulling her tongue back in to pose for me.

This next picture has always been one of my favorite pictures because I just happened to catch her with her mouth completely closed (she had probably been swallowing).  We always thought she was beautiful, but whenever she had her mouth closed it was amazing to see just how beautiful she truly was without her tongue hanging out.  Getting an occasional glimpse of her with her mouth closed gave us a preview of what she might look like after surgery.

This is at the hospital 4 days after surgery, our first time to ever see her actually keeping her mouth closed.
This is when we were getting ready to go home from the hospital.  We were still in awe at how different she looked once she was able to keep her mouth closed.
 A few more pictures post-surgery...

I purposely chose non-smiling pictures for this post so as to show the difference in her natural expression.  I will do another post to show the difference in her smile.  However, since she loves to smile for the camera I don't have many of her not smiling (even in some of the ones above she has a small smile).  This is one of her in time-out, her least favorite place - no smiles for her here!  She can put on quite a drama scene when she gets sent to time-out!


Li Qing said...

You're amazing! Blessings for your beautiful children to grow up happy and careful.

Anonymous said...

She's beautiful. My son is going into surgery on June 5th. He is 4 1/2 and needs the length cut back due to an underbite. We are hoping this will further prevent jaw surgery in the future. Your story is an inspiration to me. Thank you!