Dr. Caccamese with Lukas following the surgery.
Summary: In the winter of 2005, Lukas Traynor underwent surgery to repair a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He was only 3 months old when he had his first surgery. His mother, Peechee Neric, was receiving prenatal care at the University of Maryland Women’s Center’s Advanced Fetal Care Unit, where Lukas’s condition was first discovered. They referred her to Dr. John F. Caccamese, Jr., D.M.D., M.D., an oral-maxillofacial surgeon with the University of Maryland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates.
Peechee says “Dr. Caccamese is the best there is! His work equals how great he is. All you have to do is look at my son. We tell everyone that we were truly blessed when Dr. Caccamese was sent to us.” Read Lukas’s story below.
What was Lukas's condition?
Lukas was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate.
When/how was he diagnosed?
I was being seen by the University of Maryland Women's Center for my prenatal care and they had me go to the Advanced Fetal Care Unit due to my age for further monitoring. The Advanced Fetal Care Unit was the first to discover a possible defect while Lukas was in my stomach. I was about 4 months pregnant. They referred us to Dr. Caccamese, who met with us a few weeks later and confirmed that Lukas did have a bilateral cleft lip and palate.
Once Lukas was diagnosed, what did you do next?
We prayed for a miracle. There really was nothing we could do but just continue on with the pregnancy. I was constantly monitored to make sure Lukas and I were doing OK. We were instructed to contact Dr. Caccamese once I went into delivery so he and/or his team could be there to care for Lukas when he was born.
When did Lukas have his surgery?
Lukas had his first surgery when he was 3 months old, in December 2005. He had his second surgery at 10 months, in July 2006. His next surgery is not scheduled until he is about 4 years old.
How did you feel about the care Lukas received from Dr. Caccamese?
Dr. Caccamese and his team were excellent! They were there every morning and throughout the day to monitor Lukas's condition. If I had a question, they were always there to answer and I didn't have to wait too long to get the answer.
Dr Caccamese is the best there is! We had numerous doctors, nurses, people tell us to interview other doctors when we first heard of Lukas' condition. But Dr. Caccamese just exuded such confidence in what he does that we immediately trusted what he had to say. He is an excellent doctor! He knows what he is doing and has a great bedside manner. He is great with kids and even better with nerve-wrecked parents! But that's just Dr. Caccamese the person. His work equals how great he is. All you have to do is look at my son. We tell everyone that we were truly blessed when Dr. Caccamese was sent to us!
What's the difference -- in appearance -- between now and before Lukas had the surgery?
Extremely big difference. All you have to do is look at the before and after pictures. He was a cutie before but an even more of a knock-out now!
What advice would you give others who are in a similar situation to yours?
See if you can get Dr. Caccamese and his team to care for you or your child, and get the care from University of Maryland. Everything is there! Why go from one doctor's office to another and hospital hopping when everything you need is at University of Maryland? Great hospital! Great doctors! Great nurses! Great staff!