Violet’s Journey – Part two: Meet Violet’s team of doctors | Boston Children’s Hospital


Violet, can you say hi? Shortly after Violet was
born, the family contacted us. They’ve been able to send
me digital photographs. I’ve been able to talk to them
and review the photographs with them over the phone. So it doesn’t matter if
you’re in a different state or a different country. I can still communicate
with this family. I can still get
images, CT images. We can still build models. And the distance really
is no longer a factor. In this case, Violet’s brain
actually looks very good. The reason why you
need a neurosurgeon here is not so much to
deal with the brain, but the bone around the
brain is fairly abnormal. And the cuts that
need to be made to move the eyes together and
put the nasal region closer together involve cuts that
need the brain displaced slightly out of the way. I’ve been able to watch
her progress and her growth because we had a model built
early on, several months ago. We had one made just
several days ago. And we can see the changes. We see the growth. We can see the changes
in the bony dimensions. And I actually feel
like I know her because I’ve seen that
model change and grow over the last several months. Three dimensional
printing, in some ways, has been a natural
extension of what we’ve done in simulation
from our very beginning. It allows us now to produce
exact reproductions of child anatomy that allow the
surgeons at Children’s, within the setting
of simulation, to be able to do the
surgery before the surgery. Dr. Meara and Dr.
Proctor became what we call our early, early adopters. It just felt so natural for
them to be able to take anatomy that typically they
would have to wait to get to the operating room
to really get their hands on. I realized that this was going
to be a real game changer. The value of a model
like this is this huge. This gives me the ability
actually to see on this model better than I will in
the operating room. So I can see and feel the
trajectory, for example, of where we’ll have
to make certain cuts. And that’s never
been possible before. When you’re dealing with such a
complex and unique abnormality, it’s really hard to
conceptualize exactly what you need to do in surgery. In Violet’s case, the
movement of the bones is going to be relatively
complex and certainly unique. Certainly, no two of these
cases are exactly alike. It saves a lot of the thinking
in the operating room. So when we get there and the
patient’s in front of us, we’re not then using our
brain power to decide, what do we have to do? We really have that plan
going into the surgery, and that makes the whole
process quicker, more efficient, and safer for the patient. When it comes to
complex cases like this, really it’s the team that
makes the difference. The more you practice
together, the more you experience things
together, the better you are at working together. There’s a huge advantage to
having the plastic surgeon and the neurosurgeon because
there’s aspects of the case neither one of us would
take on individually. It would just be
far too complex. And the other
components of the team, such as the anesthesiologist
and the nursing team and the simulation
program, are all key to getting a good outcome. And then it’s the
post-operative care, the ability to go to an ICU where
I know, boy, we’ve got some of the top
intensivists really looking after this child who may
be somewhat sick after such a large procedure. In centers where they don’t
have as collaborative a team approach, it’d be
really hard to take on these very difficult cases.

15 thoughts on “Violet’s Journey – Part two: Meet Violet’s team of doctors | Boston Children’s Hospital

  1. Very inspirational. Gives all us non-profits strength to fight for the kids. www.donatewithkailee.org

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