We made it home from our 36 hour rendezvous in Atlanta... and the results of our 10 minute follow up consultation with the transplant dentist: surgery is needed. This was totally expected, so it did not come out of left field, but we are still slightly bummed to have to put Grace through yet another procedure.
For those not familiar with Grace’s oral background, her main immunosuppressant (anti-rejection medication) causes her gums to thicken and thus not slough off (as our skin does). What this has done is cause the gums to “grow” over her teeth in some areas and also caused some of her teeth to shift. In addition to these issues, it has also caused thick calluses to grow where her two year old molars need to push though. So the reasons for surgery are: thick, callused gums, shifted teeth and the risk of bacteria build up under the thick gums.
What the surgery will entail is using a laser to cut off the excess gums and then using some kind of cauterizing iron to flatten them out into place. The doctor said that because Grace’s gums are very healthy there should be minimal bleeding and thus minimal pain. It sounds pretty horrible to me, but he promised. It is done outpatient, but under general anesthesia. He said in the 9 years he has been doing this procedure on transplant kiddos he has only had to admit 2 overnight due to pain maintenance. Her surgery is scheduled for Nov. 9th, so she should hopefully have a great set of chompers ready just in time for Thanksgiving turkey.
We will keep you guys posted! Please continue to keep her in your prayers for a safe journey and surgery.