Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

Dominic’s Surgery Explained

Dominic was born with a condition called unilateral coronal synostosis. I could get all technical about describing it, but basically, when babies are born, they have 3 separate plates that make up their skull. These plates are not connected until a child reaches age 3 or so to allow the brain to grow which also shapes the head. Dominic was born with 2 of those plates already connected and since the brain grows at a rapid rate during the first few years, it was affecting the shape of his forehead & face. Dom’s mom and I noticed that he had a flat spot on his forehead early on and had it checked out. After seeing a few doctor’s, we were told to see Dr. Kim Manwaring at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to determine if there was anything wrong. Dr. Manwaring confirmed that Dominic had unilateral coronal synostosis after reviewing the initial CT scans.

Dominic Anthony FrusettaA few weeks later, Dominic was scheduled for surgery to separate the plates in his head and to advance his forehead out of the recessed position it was in on the right side. Dominic did surprisingly well during and after the surgery, but it was still a little nerv-wracking for his Mom and I. They had advanced his forehead on the right side about 17mm after separating the plates, and his brain, within a few hours, completely relaxed and filled out the gap left between his skull and brain after the surgery. The doctor’s told us that Dominic’s physical growth would be slightly behind kids his same age because of the time it was going to take for his body to focus on healing instead of growing, and yes, he’s still a peanut…but he’s getting taller and he’s EXTREMELY smart! It’s almost as if his brain development kicked in to high gear when his body slowed down a little.

Dominic Anthony FrusettaThe doctor’s also told us that there was a 25% chance that Dominic would have to go through this surgery again for aesthetic reasons around the age of 5-6. Over the past 6 months or so, we’ve had appointments with the craniofacial surgeon as well as the neurosurgeon to determine what the next step might be since kids are kids and a few have noticed that Dom’s head isn’t necessarily shaped like theirs and they some times poke fun at him about it. Dominic doesn’t know any different, so it hasn’t really affected him, but if it continues, it is sure to have longer term affects on him as far as his self esteem and self confidence.

Pre/Post Op Pictures of Dominic’s First Surgery (Slightly Graphic)

Within the past 2 weeks, we finally got a CT scan of Dom’s head, and upon recommendation of both the neurosurgeon and the craniofacial surgeon, they both are suggesting we go through a full surgery again to advance his forehead for increased symmetry. We originally had 2 options, a cosmetic surgery, or the more invasive surgery, but after seeing the CT scan, both doctor’s noticed that Dominic’s brain looked a little “cramped”. They also asked if he was having reoccurring headaches – which he has – so going with the more invasive surgery to advance the forehead should correct that.

2295173935_41dcbc79ae_mThe surgery is scheduled for 10am tomorrow morning (Saturday, July 18th) at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Dom’s Mom and big sister have done a great job talking to him about the surgery all this week and getting him mentally ready for it – he’s ready to “kick surgery’s butt!” – his sister encouraged him to kick it’s butt! hahaha I’m still a little bit of a wreck, but the surgeons do so many of these procedures, its become a pretty “standard” procedure for them. We’ll be at the hospital until Tue/Wed, but being there isn’t like being at a hospital at all – Dom loves all the “fun stuff” they have there.

Comments

  1. Kelli says:

    Beau — keeping you and your sweet son in my prayers. This is such a thoughtful post; you can tell how Dom is your world!

  2. Alexis says:

    Aw, I hope his recovery is smooth and quick! We all love little Dom. Hang in there Dad!

  3. If you need help with anything during recovery just give us a holler. Dom is a trooper he will kick some cranium and probably have the nurses in stitches by the time he is released.

  4. H0neyb says:

    What a trooper!!! Y’all are in my prayers.. Thank god for Great Medical Technology!!! <3

  5. Hey Man! Stay strong, I can only imagine what you’re going through! Dom is awesome, and he will pull through this like no business, guaranteed! Let us know how the surgery went!

  6. Amy Sellers says:

    If all kids were like Dom, I’d be a peds nurse for sure! I’m sure he’ll do great during and after the surgery :)

  7. Erica says:

    Beau…stay strong and I know that Dom is a lot like his dad and will pull through this just fine. Let me know if you need anything.

  8. Charlene says:

    The Frusetta men are in my prayers, along with your entire family.

  9. Hang in there, man! Haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Dom, but I know he’s got a great dad pulling for him and making sure everything will be okay.

  10. I don’t pray or anything but you know I’m pullin for him… Amy and I are going to be there tomorrow for you guys too… Dom’s a tough ass… he’ll do fine ;)

  11. Paul Sutton says:

    Wow Beau, I had no idea. Dom is such a cool, happy kid you would never know it, shows what a great job you guys do with him. My thoughts are with you all.

  12. Beau,
    I know you have a lot on your mind. Hope you get good sleep tonight and remember you got a lot of people for support. If you need anything you know how to contact me.

    best of Luck

  13. Thinkin’ of you and Dom this morning. Hearts, hugs, and a lil bit o’ butt kickin’. ;-)

  14. Ben Leivian says:

    Glad to hear that the surgery went well Beau. Man, Dom is going to get so many chicks with those scars!

  15. Steve Swedler says:

    Glad to hear Dom’s doing well. Let me know if there is anything I can do. Kids are so resillient, he’ll be back to a handful again in no time.

  16. Nick Bastian says:

    I love the “kick surgery’s butt” attitude! Glad you both have it.
    You both have a LOT of friends pullin’ for ya…

  17. andrewkfromaz says:

    I’m glad to hear he’s doing well, thanks for this explanation. Keep us posted as he recovers, and if there’s anything we can do, please let us know.
    ~Andrew K

  18. Hey Beau,

    It’s awesome to hear Dom’s doing well. Stay strong. Our families prayers are with you.

    Andres

  19. Roberta says:

    He’ll be just fine! Believe me, my beautiful granddaughter had this surgery 15 years ago and she is doing GREAT!! She does sports, is smart in school,just like any normal kid. I noticed the same condition way you did and went to Dr.
    Manwaring. I am so thankful for the skillful hands that God gave Dr. Manwaring! God bless you all.

  20. Catherine Beckstein says:

    My son also had this surgery when he was 3 mos old in Buffalo. Dr. David Klein did the surgery. Greg was one of the first cases in which CT was used to create symmetry…previously the surgeon eye-balled the change. He also had a second surgery at age 5 because the defect in the forehead did not close as expected. He is now 27.

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