Post In Forever

Posted: October 6, 2014 by gennipenni in Uncategorized


Soooooo it has been forever and a day since I last posted about my surgery and everything that has happened since then. I am all healed up for the most part after my last surgery. My upper lip now does not have the noticeable scarring that it has before however now my lower lip (where they took and replaced the gab in my upper lip) has a single scar where the vein was connected. It is slightly bother some but everyone keeps saying that it is a great improvement then before. I have feeling back in my upper and lower lips but not completely (which could take years for the nerves to grow back). So in that aspect everything is going well and I am happy with the outcome. I also got my braces off to add to the enjoyment of everything haha, I was extremely happy about that.


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Post In Forever

Posted: October 5, 2014 by evang4299 in Uncategorized

Soooooo it has been forever and a day since I last posted about my surgery and everything that has happened since then. I am all healed up for the most part after my last surgery. My upper lip now does not have the noticeable scarring that it has before however now my lower lip (where they took and replaced the gab in my upper lip) has a single scar where the vein was connected. It is slightly bother some but everyone keeps saying that it is a great improvement then before. I have feeling back in my upper and lower lips but not completely (which could take years for the nerves to grow back). So in that aspect everything is going well and I am happy with the outcome. I also got my braces off to add to the enjoyment of everything haha, I was extremely happy about that.

On other news I am going through the process right now to get two tooth implants in the gap that I have in my upper right jaw and a second baby tooth is being pulled and replaced with an implant in my upper jaw as well. This is a minor thing compared to everything else but yet again nothing can be easy. I have had to reschedule multiple appointments due to conflicting availabilities on both mine and the doctors end. But now I have a final set date to get my teeth implants in and then I will finally be done with everything after this whole process.

Thankfully I have had Genna through all of this. She has been extremely supportive and has kept me sane through all of it even though I think I am sure I have made her insane through all of this haha. I am happy that I went through all of this but I still think of the what ifs from time to time. Just yesterday I was remembering how everything was when I woke up after each surgery and all the things Genna and everyone did for me. I am a lucky guy is all I have to say. I hope everyone likes my new face because I know I do.

After all my surgeries

Me and Genna

Me and Genna awhile after my abbe flap surgery

teeth and lips

How my teeth and lips look to date

lips and nose

Lips and nose to date

lips and nose

lips and nose from a view below to date


Before all my surgeries

waiting in the waiting room!

waiting in the waiting room! before everything started!

Before Braces

Before Braces and Surgeries

last open mouth smile picture before braces

last open mouth smile picture before braces and surgeries

Me smiling

Me Smiling Before Surgeries

Above view

Before Surgeries Above View

Side view

Before Surgeries Side View

After my last surgery

Posted: March 4, 2014 by evang4299 in Uncategorized

So after this last and final surgery things have been going well. Genna has been an enormous support to me and I am happy I am finally able to kiss her now, even though I still cant feel my upper lip hahaha. My lips are still swollen but have drastically reduced compared to me right after my surgery. My bottom lip looks great and you can barely see any scars at all. My upper lip still is swollen on the sides which causes little indents where the new tissue has been attached which I am not crazy about but hopefully that will change over time. Also on my upper lip the tissue next to where the new one was put in have kinda swelled up on the sides, I am not sure if this is from swelling or whatever the case is. You can kinda see where the tissue on the upper lip was placed due to the fact that hair isnt growing there. Also on my bottom lip where everything is healing  when you apply pressure or touch the “scar” area you can feel it is hard and almost feels a little like cartilage (the best way I can describe it in words) this runs all the way up from my chin, up my lip to the inside of my mouth. It is quite annoying because not only is it hard but I still have difficulty feeling things in that area, plus small spots here and there are still healing up.

A lot of people have been asking me if I am happy with the outcome. The best answer I can say to that is that I don’t know to say the truth. I guess it is still to early to tell what the “finished product” will look like. I am happy with some areas and others I am not crazy about would be the best phrase to say (meaning the way my upper lip is looking now at this current time). I usually also add to my “am I happy with it” answer with does it really matter? haha I mean at this point what is done is done there is no going back or really “changing” anything. I have to live with it so yea haha. Also for me it was hard to see a drastic change when looking in the mirrors after my last two surgeries, this one was slightly more noticeable but still unless I look at an old picture of myself I still think that well this is the face I have now. As for myself esteem after this surgery I will say it has gotten a little boost at least I would like to think that but who knows lol.

All in all I will end this post with a few pictures to kinda compare how I was before my surgery and braces and let everyone decide from them selves. The first are pictures before any surgery.

018 019 020 021 024

These next few pictures are from after this last surgery

089 058 078 086 087 088

and here are them next to each other.

018 086

I know that she knows this but I love you Genna so unbelievably much no words can begin to describe how you have made me feel through out all of these experiences and stressful times during my surgeries. I am a really lucky guy to have you in my life through all of this 🙂 xoxox<333


Well it has been quite an exciting couple of days. If you are still following you know that Evan FINALLY had his last surgery on Tuesday!!! Big yay!

I’m going to recap the following days and post a picture for all to see!

We got to NYU at about 11 for 12:30 surgery time but of course nothing ever goes according to plan! Evan’s surgery started officially at about 2:30 after a consultation with the surgeon where he went over the surgery. He reminded us this is the easiest of the three he has had and it should take about 2- 2 1/2 hrs and afterwards a small part of his lips will be sewn together for a week to keep the blood flowing to the relocated part of his upper lip. Of course we knew all this already but a quick overview was great to calm nerves! After they took his back (with one last kiss with his “old lips”) his parents and I waited…. and waited… and waited. At the 4 hour mark we got antsy, at the 5 hour mark we got nervous and at 5 1/2 hrs we demanded to know what was going on. His father eventually found a nurse who called down to the OR (considering it was almost 8 pm!!) and found out that everything was “ok” he just was finishing up. Dr. Warren finally came out at about 7:55 to tell us he was done. Evan had a lot more scar tissue than expected and because of that it took longer to get through. He also wanted to make it “perfect” so he redrew the lines for about an hr before he started the procedure. All acceptable reasons to take longer (and we certainly appreciate the perfection) but some communication with us would have been GREATLY appreciated!!!!

Now we all know Evan does NOT like to wake up from surgery easily, this time was no exception. He stayed in post-op recovery until 11:40 ish and while he didn’t throw up this time (yay!! It was our goal to control it BEFORE leaving the hospital this go around) he did remain super groggy the rest of that night. We were able to take him home that night!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get another day off of my rotation so I couldn’t stay the next day with him, but he did ok! No throwing up, minimal pain but still bleeding a little. That was the only concerning item of the day, besides exessive drowsiness (but that was expected!) Today being Day 2, Evan is much more awake, in less pain but his nose is stuffy and he is still dripping blood. When I got there after my day I was able to help him take a bath and he seemed to feel better. He wrote to me on his phone that this recovery is a little easier than the past two, but very annoying with lips sewn shut and the dripping. We’ve been putting medicated ointment on the stitches, which he has under his nose, two strips down to his lips and a “y” shaped area on his bottom lip and of course all inside his mouth as well as outside, but the ointment makes the blood cake on his chin and his in hair (sorry for the graphics!)

For now we are really only concerned about the bleeding and hope it starts to clot more. Tomorrow I might call over to his doctor before the weekend and just get his opinion!

Sorry for the lengthy post, but here’s a picture for the end!! I’ll update again over the weekend. Thanks for all the loving support for Evan, I know he appreciates it all.



The Final Surgery

Posted: January 28, 2014 by evang4299 in Uncategorized

So I know it has been a long time since I posted but on a brighter note tomorrow I will be undergoing my last surgery! I will say for this being my last surgery it was more stressful getting to this point than I thought it would be but non the less I am still happy that it is finally happening.

So a quick update for everyone, my surgeon Dr. Warren decided to go into private practice after my last surgery and no one in his old office decided to inform me of this information. So about 2 months ago I went in for an appointment on my braces as a normal check up and one of the people I usually see asks me if I have been to Dr. Warrens new office yet. The expression on my face was essentially this O.o I asked her what she was talking about and if he had moved to a different part of NYU. She then proceeds to tell me that no he moved into his own private practice and better yet he has Dr. Cuttings (the surgeon who I was suppose to have but retired)  old number because Dr. Cutting saved it for him. So clearly this had been planed out for a while but no one decided to inform me of this. Long story short I get his address and new number and proceed to call him to make an appointment to see him to make sure everything was still in order for this surgery I was having tomorrow. After heading to his office, which is 2 miles away from his old one, we had a consultation about this surgery and talk about what is going to happen. After having this appointment with him and what not I am then informed by his new secretary that I need to schedule a surgery date (but I already had one set for when he was at NYU). Apparently when he went to private practice I lost my surgery spot, but after a long and tedious time of talking to his new secretary’s I got a surgery date and spot, but guess what…. IT WAS THE SAME ONE I ALREADY PREVIOUSLY HAD! >.< So the secretary who schedules the surgeries called me after New Years to tell me I had a surgery date on the 28th, I was like Great! however that is all she told me >.<, she said that is all she knows now but that she would call me back with the time and what hospital it would be at the week after she called me. I told her that was ok since it was the holidays. I did not find out till this past Thursday the time and where it was being held. Of course this is after leaving tons of voice mails asking them to call me back and everything but finally I was able to get a hold of someone on Thursday. The woman on the phone immediately said “oh I was going to call you today”, my immediate thought of course was yea ok sure lady. She told me the girl who schedules everything is still on vacation but told me the information I needed to know anyways. Just as I am about to hang up she proceeds to tell me that I need clearance from my primary doctor….. I had asked this several times in previous phone calls and appointments because it takes forever to get an appointment with my doctor but each time they said no it was not needed. Luckily I called my doctors office and they were able to fit me in today and cleared me for everything, so I am all good on that end.

So tomorrow is the big day, I am having a procedure called an Abbe Flap procedure. They are essentially putting the fine touches on my upper lip and getting rid of the scar tissue, which will also make it look more normal. They do this by completely cutting out and removing the scar tissue in my upper lip and then cutting out the extra muscle from my bottom lip (which accumulated from holding up my upper lip my entire life) and placing it in the spot in which they removed the scar tissues in my upper lip. To ensure that the muscle does not die and heals properly in its new spot they have to leave a vein intact for a week. This means for the next week I will have my mouth closed and essentially sown shut with a vein connecting my upper and lower lip. I will be on a liquid diet, using squirt bottles through the side of my mouth, until I go back in for them to cut the vein. I think this surgery will be the biggest change visually out of all the surgery’s that I have had.

All in all it has been quite the ride with its ups and downs to ge to this point, but if i had to do it all over again I would.

A long over due update!

Posted: October 14, 2013 by evang4299 in Uncategorized

Soooooooo yes yes I know I am absolutely horrible with keeping this up to date >.> but here I am, i guess better late then never haha. Things have been going well since my nose surgery and I am happy with the way everything came out. I am now slowly getting ready for my final surgery that is to take place sometime during January! I am really excited and cant wait for this to all be done and over with! MUAHAHAAHHA!!!!!! 🙂 not sure why that laugh had to be “evil” but it seemed appropriate lol. Thus far this journey I have been on has been quite the adventure and has definitely had its ups and downs both emotionally and physically. In a way it is kinda weird to look at old pictures of me and see what I used to look like, part of me thinks that it isn’t possible that I used to look like that because in a way the changes were so small yet so big at the same time. I guess it is hard to explain what I mean without you personally going through all of this so for those of you reading this blog you will understand (AND MY GOODNESS YOU HAVE PATIENCE WAITING FOR ME TO POST AGAIN! hahah). I have definitely had a few bitter sweet moments during this whole adventure and if I was asked to do it all over again I think I would, with minor changes here and there like being more prepared for post surgery stuff haha. I have another appointment with dental in 2 weeks so I will try and remember to post right after that one. Thanks for putting up with me and my forgetfulness on posting here :P.

Just wanted to share my favorite book from this summer. This video is from the author and reminds us to “choose kind.” I loved the message and I loved reading the book. Thought it was an appropriate post from this blog in particular ;]

Video  —  Posted: September 10, 2013 by gennipenni in braces, cleft lip, cleft lip and palate, facial reconstruction, Genna's Posts, jaw surgery, le fort, nose job, occupational therapy
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