New pediatric Specialty in El Paso Children's Hospital

Regina is a very outgoing baby. She loves to laugh and play. When she was a few months old, her parents began to notice there was something strange about her right eye.

“We started to see that her right eye was bigger than her left side,” states Elizabeth Perez, Regina’s mother. Elizabeth and her husband, Louis, came to El Paso Children’s Hospital where they were referred to Dr. David Yates, a pediatric craniofacial surgeon.

Regina was diagnosed with unilateral right sided coronal craniosynostosis; a birth condition that affects the part of the skull where the forehead and the frontal lobe grow to expand forward. 

Dr. Yates quickly determined that Regina's condition without immediate surgery could "lead to increased pressure on her brain which can be damaging; cause blindness and lead to a bad cosmetic defect where the face is affected, and she could end up looking very deformed," he said.

During the surgery, Dr. Yates removed the anterior portion of her skull including the area above the eyes. He then re-shaped and reformed it. The surgery was done in conjunction with Dr. Velimirovic, a neurosurgeon at El Paso Children’s Hospital. According to Dr. Yates this particular procedure is one that has not yet been done in El Paso. 

"There has never been a specialist like Dr. Yates in El Paso," said Regina’s father. “He is very renowned, and he chose to come to El Paso.”

According to Dr. Yates, Regina’s surgery was a success and will now experience a full recovery. “I feel super blessed to be here,” states Dr. Yates. “I feel like there’s incredible opportunity to help people here in El Paso, and there’s a group of people at this hospital who are excited about helping people. These cases," says Dr. Yates,"require multiple levels of acuity and specialized training of nursing staff, anesthesiologists pediatric intensive care doctors and pediatricians to be able to recognize the problem and send it to the appropriate people to take care of the patient.”

Before Dr. Yates came to El Paso, patients like Regina would have been referred to other cities like San Antonio, Dallas or Houston. Now, thanks to the level of pediatric specialists coming to El Paso Children’s Hospital, there’s no need to leave town. Sick and injured kids are staying home to receive the best pediatric treatment at El Paso Children’s Hospital.