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10 Fingers & 10 Toes

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Jeff Weinzweig, MD

Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who offers advice and information on all aspects of this specialty.

I have neither been abducted and transported through a wormhole to another dimension nor have I taken a leave of absence to circumnavigate the globe in a hovercraft.  But I have been quite busy and offer my sincerest regrets for any semblance of a departure from my dutiful role as Dr. Jeff on ChicagoNow.  Allow me to explain.

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Komedyplast screening in Lima, Peru.

At the end of February, I returned from Lima, Peru where I take a surgical team and entertainment team each year to operate at the only children's hospital in the country.  We perform complex craniofacial reconstructions for children with congenital skull abnormalities. This was the 6th mission of Komedyplast, the nonprofit foundation I established in 2002, and a major milestone for us as we treated our 100th child during this mission.

Five weeks after returning from Peru, my wife was to deliver our son.  Instead, that occurred just two weeks later -- 3 weeks ahead of schedule!  The threat of preeclampsis necessitated induction and early delivery.  Fortunately, that all occurred uneventfully and my son was born just two weeks ago.  However, the problem with any divergence from the anticipated plan with something as important as childbirth is the recurring question, "Is anything wrong?"


While most expectant parents assume all is well as long as their newborn has "10 fingers and 10 toes," I was at a major disadvantage.  As a plastic surgeon, that would not be enough reassurance for me.  As one who had subspecialty training as a hand surgeon, it was critical for me to know that my son did not demonstrate any shoulder dystocia, syndactyly (fused fingers) or other extremity disorders, not just 10 fingers and 10 toes.  He didn't.  But even worse, as a craniofacial surgeon, it was critical to know that my son's skull sutures, ears, lips, and palate had properly formed.  They had.  But imagine how my heart raced when the delivery room nurse who carried little Leo to the newborn warmer muttered, "Oh, he's got a cleft ... chin."

So, apart from some sleepless nights reminiscent of residency days long past, all is well in Dr. Jeff's world and all are encouraged to submit questions regarding any aspect of plastic surgery in which they are interested -- including childbirth!


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Got Questions? Ask Dr. Jeff!

Send them to askdrjeff@chicagoprs.com

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4 Comments

Caitlin Giles said:

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Congratulation! Just happened upon this post. Your son is beautiful. There is nothing like a newborn baby.

Jeff Weinzweig, MD said:

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Nothing even compares. Thanks so much!

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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Hey Jeff, congratulations to you and your wife! What beautiful photos. Good luck trying to get some sleep.

Jeff Weinzweig, MD said:

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Sleep? What's that? Thanks so much!

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