One morning in 1990, Ralph Fiore discovered a lump in his neck while shaving. Three days later, Ralph went to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford for the biopsy that would unveil his cancer. Several years of smoking, though he had since stopped, had taken their toll on Ralph’s throat. He underwent a life-saving surgery, but his appearance after the fact was less than ideal. The shock hit his family so hard that he decided to get up from the hospital bed to see the damage for himself. To his astonishment, nearly half of his jaw was missing.
“I just could not believe that person I was looking at in the mirror was me, and it staggered me to the point that I fell up against the wall. I’ll never forget that,” stated Ralph.
One year after the operation, his oncologist recommended Connecticut Maxillofacial Surgeons for reconstructive surgery. Ralph’s hopes were high, and his surgery was placed in the willing and able hands of Dr. David Galbraith. After weighing all options and materials, the doctor elected to use graft materials from Ralph’s body and a cadaver, along with metal plates. The results were spectacular.
“I felt Dr. Galbraith was looking at me as a person, as someone he could do something for rather than using me as a test case or as an experiment,” Ralph declared after his successful surgery. “Out of the places that I checked out, he’s the one I felt more comfortable with.” Due to the success of his surgery, Ralph has even recommended Connecticut Maxillofacial Surgeons to friends of his family – even ones he had never met.
Kevin Sack has a congenital condition that causes his facial features to grow at different rates. Therefore, when he underwent a massive growth spurt at age eleven, he developed an overly pronounced under-bite. Though Kevin was fairly self-confident of his looks, the condition caused him breathing troubles, and his parents were concerned that the condition might hold him back from being the best he could be. His father, Mike, embarked on a quest to find the best surgeons possible for the operation. When he found them, they were much closer than he expected.
Connecticut Maxillofacial Surgeons performed orthognathic surgery on Kevin when he was 16 years old, shortening his lower jaw and relocating it, as well as broadening his upper cheekbones. The improvements in Kevin’s breathing and appearance were substantial, and the Sack family was pleased.
Another teenager, Veronica King, had a prolonged chin due to a crossbite at a young age. This condition made braces a necessity, and as Veronica grew older, she became self-conscious and smiled far less often. Her mother and friends were concerned, and Veronica eventually underwent surgery at CMS to repair her chin. The surgery went over with wonderful results.
After the operation, Veronica was no longer shy about her teeth or facial appearance. “She has a beautiful smile now,” says Elsie King, Veronica’s mother, “and she likes to smile.”
On her way home from school one night, Tina Bolognese was involved in a nasty car crash. Flying out of the back seat and hitting her head on the metal frame of the convertible she was riding in, Tina’s face was practically flattened. There were few areas of her face that were not fractured or damaged, and she was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Thankfully, after a brief stay in intensive care, Tina was mostly healthy. Her parents feared that she may have suffered brain damage, but breathed a sigh of relief when she began to communicate to them through paper and pencil when they came to the hospital. Though she experienced a mild concussion, there was no permanent or debilitating damage. When she left the hospital, Tina discussed the next step with her parents: reconstructive facial surgery.
The appointment with Connecticut Maxillofacial Surgeons was made almost immediately. Using Tina’s senior picture proofs, the doctors mapped out a reconstruction plan with metal plates and jaw screws.
“When things are fractured or displaced or moved to that degree, it’s really incumbent on us to restore function and appearance,” said Dr. Barry McGuire of CMS. He took on the task of rebuilding Tina’s fractured face with a team of surgeons.
After the surgery, Tina’s face was back to its former state. “These doctors did a phenomenal job,” said Tina’s father. “We trusted them, and they gave us the best gift: They gave us our daughter back.” Even though the crash must have been emotionally tough to deal with, Tina no longer had to worry about her appearance thanks to the doctors of CMS.
Temporomandibular Joint Disease
Amy Saltonstall had recently been employed as a producer for an interactive DVD series when she began to notice a clicking in her jaw. When the clicking worsened and turned into a popping that signified that her jaw was disconnecting, she contacted her doctor right away. After a short period of time, Amy was informed that she suffered from Temporomandibular Joint Disease.
Amy was well aware of the world-renowned health centers in her home city, Boston, but traveled to Connecticut instead at the advice of a family member.
When Dr. William Marco and Dr. David Galbraith informed her that surgery was the best option, Amy objected. The doctors told her everything that she could do to ease the pain, but in less than a year the condition had reached a point where surgery was the only viable option.
“It got to a point where Amy was fraught with chronic headaches, pain, and difficulty eating,” relayed Dr. Galbraith. “It was obvious at that point to her that surgery was the only route.”
Despite Amy’s initial concerns, her surgery went so well that she began to advocate for surgery to her friends and colleagues with TMD. She knew that they didn’t have to suffer when such experienced surgeons were only two hours away from Boston, and made sure to spread the word.
When Ed Blue felt the inside of his mouth rattle around after falling from a ladder, he was positive that something was not right in his mouth. Concerned, he paid a visit to Dr. Ian Tingey of Connecticut Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Tingey performed a biopsy and found a malignant growth in Ed’s jaw. Luckily for Ed, Dr. Tingey had found the tumor early enough for other doctors, once the condition had been confirmed, to give him cancer treatments and stop it from spreading. Unfortunately, seven of Ed’s teeth went out with the cancer, and he had to be fitted for dentures.
Ed’s experience with dentures was not an especially comfortable one. The clamps that held them in frequently broke and became a hassle. He even had trouble eating on occasion. Wanting to remedy this and refresh his quality of life, Ed spoke with Dr. Tingey once more. Once the doctor was certain that the cancer had gone into remission, he began to plan Ed’s reconstruction surgery.
Eight years since the cancer had been discovered, Ed’s quality of life was improved by CMS, and he could smile easily once again. His gratitude extended far past that of a reconstructive surgery patient, though.
“If it weren’t for Dr. Tingey doing his work and knowing what he was doing, I would not be here today,” claimed Ed. Dr. Tingey’s extra effort was key in pinpointing Ed’s malady before it was too late. It was that extra effort that saved Ed’s life.