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dithering about what to do with dd's feet - 12 toes...

(8 Posts)
Cathpot Mon 08-Sep-08 22:29:20

I posted this in health but someone suggested that I might have more luck here, so in hope of finding anyone with similar experiences :

DD1 (now aged 3.5) born with 12 toes, has extra little toes webbed onto her own (we're delighting in the label polysyndactyly). When we belatedly noticed this on day 3 (homebirth, dim lighting..) we were referred and ended up on a surgical list. All seemed quite straightforward, not that unusual and would just remove the extra.

Anyway over the course of her being aged one to two we had 6 operations booked and cancelled due to a procession of colds, ear infections etc. 3 ops cancelled after we had driven to the hospital in next county and the last one after they had numbed her hand ready to put a line in. On the final attempt I was heavily pregnant, very emotional and had had enough. Took her name off the list.

We are now 18 months down the line and until yesterday we had decided to leave it indefinitely. It doesnt slow her down in any way physically and she is pretty outgoing and I suspect will cope OK when she starts to get flak about it. We decided if she asked to have it done we would do it then.

Then yesterday I went to buy her new shoes. She is now a 9 and a half shoe size and we are at the top of the Clarks younger kid range. Until now it has been fine getting her shoes as the range has always included very forgiving styles with soft leather at the sides. I looked at the size 10 and up range and realised we are going to start having a problem as the shoes are much more solid, hard leather type things.

So, I suppose I am hoping to tap into some undiscovered pool of extradigit mums or at least some one with experience of what is essentially cosmetic surgery for a child. what do we think? Should I get it done so it is out of the way and we dont have to worry (and avoid teasing) or do I leave it for her to decide and get off my backside and start looking for specialist shoes...(neatly side stepping my inner panic about medically unnecessary ops, general anaesthetic and post operative pain etc)

misscutandstick Tue 09-Sep-08 07:53:24

hmm, thats a tough question - i dont have any personal experience at all...

I think i would have it done because:
Of all the things you mention including shoe fitting.
Although the thought of having 'cosmetic' surgery may be scary, it actually wont be that painful - essentially the skin will just be a little sore.
while shes young it will be an easier time to get 'over it'
While shes young, the time taken to have it done wont interfere with anything like school/work and therefore drawing more attention to the fact that shes needed to have it done.
The teasing which will undoubtedly start (lets be honest), and may damage her self confidence, will be eliminated.
If she decides that she wants it done later in life (which i think she will, because of wanting to wear strappy shoes/sandles etc) she will have already had to go through the teasing and name-calling.

This is JUST my opinion, and you really have to do what you think is best for your child. Good luck with your decision and {hugs} for your journey.

misscutandstick Tue 09-Sep-08 07:54:29

ooops! blush the teasing will be elimanated, NOT the self confidence! sorry

ChopsTheDuck Tue 09-Sep-08 10:41:57

I really would get it done. It may be hard now, but she will thank you for it when she is older.
I had what would be classed as cosmetic surgery twice as a child. I had my ears pinned back and a unsightly growth removed from under my arm. At the time it was a little scarey and strange, but I am sure it was actually worse for my parents than me. I could easily have gone through life with 'dumbo' ears, but I am sure it would have deeply affected my self confidence.

FioFio Tue 09-Sep-08 10:47:30

Message withdrawn

Blu Tue 09-Sep-08 12:56:50

I feel quite mixed about this, and sympathise with your own reservations about 'unnecessary surgery'.

DS has 9 toes - no teasing whatsoever. He has enjoyed flummoxing allthe expectations that everyone has 10 fingers and toes - especially in Yr 1 when they used fingers to count.

But - the surgery will be very very minor and recovery very speedy. It will most likely be done in day surgery, GA holds no terrors (I promise...DS has had 6...and counting) though of course it is always anxiety-ridden for parents - and in truth, a lifetime of being restricted over shoes will be a complete and utter pain (I can tell you that from experience, too!). Children - and adults - have dental alterations all the time - braces etc - look at it in that context, perhaps.

So...I would go for it, I think.

Cathpot Tue 09-Sep-08 14:27:23

I am coming round to it, mostly as the outer toes seem to be slightly sore, even though over summer she has been in the velcro sandal things which are very adjustable. I know kids might well tease about this sort of thing but I do think having been on both sides of teasing growing up, that kids will always find something if they want to tease (or actively bully), and ignore a multitude of things if they dont. Am going to ring the doctor this pm and get ball rolling. Thanks for your thoughts.

LollipopViolet Tue 09-Sep-08 15:33:43

I'd get it done. I had a squint for 14 of my 18 years and having it corrected was the best thing I could've asked for. It's helped my co-ordination (still iffy though) has stopped all the stupid "are you looking at me or him?" questions and has generally been worth it. Mine hurt LOADS (it was my eye though) but something like a toe shouldn't be too painful. And when she gets to my ripe old age of 18 she'll want to wear strappy shoes. I do, but I have wide feet so it's tricky envy

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