Friday, March 23, 2007

Laser Floyd

Another week, another medical procedure. No mortal danger this time, just a visit to the dermatologist at Children's Hospital to treat Miles' hemangioma with a laser. This very noticeable feature adjacent to Miles' upper lip has been growing steadily since a few days after his birth. Although hemangiomas are not dangerous, they can grow to be rather large and take 2-10 years to fade away. The larger a hemanioma gets, the more likely it is to leave scarring. In Miles' case, the hemangioma is present not only above his lip on the outside of his mouth, but also to a lesser extent on the inside of his mouth, which could interfere with his ability to properly suckle. In order to limit the physical (and eventually social) discomfort that might ensue, we decided to set up Miles with the laser treatment.

Our friendly neighborhood pediatric dermatologist, Dr. Francis, gave Miles his first taste of the laser on Thursday. We were a little nervous about subjecting Miles to yet another encounter with modern medicine, but the whole thing turned out to be far less traumatic than a typical blood draw. Our major task was to help hold him still while the nurse blindfolded him ("He won't like this") and iced his lip. Then Dr. Francis zapped the hemangioma a dozen times or so with the laser. Just to set our minds at ease, she gave me a sample of the laser on the back of my hand. To my relief, I could barely feel it.

Miles was relieved, too, when it was all over. We were told to expect no immediate change in the size of the hemangioma, as this first treatment was merely designed to arrest its growth. Miles will go back several more times to begin rolling the hemangioma back--yet another chapter in our saga of medical wonders.

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