Dr. Russell H. Griffiths is dedicated to helping as many patients as possible. As such, he makes special accommodations for out-of-town patients. If you live outside the United States, you will want to schedule an online video consultation. This will give you the opportunity to meet Dr. Griffiths face to face over the internet and ask him specific questions without having to travel. If your primary language is not English, we can arrange for translation services for this online consultation in fifteen different languages. Please send photographs of the affected ear prior to the consultation (click here for guidelines for submitting photographs). Most patients try to get on our surgery schedule at this point but if you would like, please feel free to fly to Boise, ID, for a follow-up consultation.
Preparing for Your Arrival
After the consultation, we will be happy to review financial matters and provide an estimate of total costs involved in reconstructing your ear.
Most out-of-town or international patients will travel to Boise for their preoperative appointment a day or two before their scheduled surgery. We will be in contact with you several weeks prior to surgery to update your medical history. We will also help you complete the pre-surgical paperwork and tell you what medications you should take and which ones you should avoid.
Please download, print and fax to our office or you can bring the initial paperwork with you to your office evaluation with Dr. Griffiths.
Submitting Photos for Review
Dr. Griffiths prefers to have photographs of patients sent to our office prior to scheduling an internet video consultation.
Please have your photos taken like these examples:
Instructions for submitting photographs:
- Use a nice digital camera with a zoom lens and flash (a smart phone will not work well)
Please zoom in all the way (most cameras open in a wide angle view and if you forget to zoom all the way in, the photograph will look strange).
- Turn on the flash.
- Hold the camera so that the photos will appear similar to the example photos (you might need to walk back a few steps to make your photos look like the example photos).
- Please make sure the frontal photograph is taken with the subject smiling (this helps Dr. Griffiths see subtle asymmetries in the smile muscles and the alignment of the upper and lower jaws.
- Please carefully check to make sure the photos are in focus.
- Download the photos into your computer.
- If possible try to reduce the size of the photograph to 2 Mb. Most newer digital cameras take photographs at 6 to 8 Mb and the larger files will be very difficult to send electronically (if you are unable to reduce the digital photo size then only attach 2 photos to each email).
- Open your email browser and attach the photographs to an email to Boiseplasticsurgery@gmail.com.
If you do not here back from us within one week of submitting photographs, please call us at: (208) 433-1736.
If you would prefer to send the photos by mail, then please print them out and mail them to:
Russell H. Griffiths MD
100 E. Idaho St. #303
Boise, Idaho 83712
United States of America
Setting Up Skype for Your Online Video Consultation
If you are planning on scheduling an Internet video consultation you will first need to set up a Skype account. Skype allows you to talk with Dr. Griffiths over the Internet with a video connection.
You will need a webcam and microphone attached to your computer.
These links will assist you:
To set up a Skype account, go to http://www.skype.com
- Click the (Join Skype) button at the top right of the home page.
- Create an account by completing the information on the account page including your name, email address, and profile information. You will then need to select a Skype name and password. Then click (I agree-continue). Then retype the text seen the box near the end of the page (this is a security code that only the human eye can read, sometimes it takes a couple tries to get it right).
- Follow the instructions on the next page “How to install Skype”.
- We suggest you practice using Skype prior to your video consultation. Many people call a friend or family member who also has Skype. Skype is a free service but sometimes you need to buy credit for certain types of calls.
- If your video quality is poor, you might consider placing a light behind your webcam to reduce shadows on your face.
Once You Arrive
When you arrive in Boise, Dr. Griffiths will review every detail of the surgery and answer any questions. He will then make a detailed template of your normal ear that will be used during your operation to carve the chest cartilage grafts into a living ear framework. Additional templates will be made to mark the exact position of the ear on the normal side so that the reconstructed ear will be placed in the perfect position. Dr. Griffiths then will then use a Doppler pencil to map out the arterial anatomy of the superficial temporal fascia and talk to you about options for skin graft harvest sites. If you are a candidate for aural atresia repair at the same time as the microtia reconstruction, you will then be directed to the office of our Otolaryngologist.
The following morning you will need to be at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital at 6am. You will have an opportunity to meet the anesthesia team and nurses. The operation will take the majority of the day so most family members bring a good book, puzzles, or a laptop so they can surf the internet. Dr. Griffiths will have the nurses call your family periodically to give them an update on the surgery. After the operation you will have a spacious private room where one member of your family can stay with you. Most patients are ready to leave the hospital by 1pm the following day. The nursing staff will be available at all times to help you with whatever you need. If you would like, the nurses can bring a game console into your room to help you pass the time during your recovery. When you are ready to leave the hospital, your family will be given detailed instruction on how to care for your new ear. They will also be given Dr. Griffiths’ cell phone number and home phone number so they can call him if they have any questions or concerns.
We pride ourselves on being able to meet the needs of international patients so they can receive the same level of care as any other patient.
After the Procedure
You should plan on staying in Boise from 8 to 20 days after your surgery. The length of your stay depends upon how well you heal. You will have several post-operative visits with Dr. Griffiths and his staff during your recovery. When you are ready to leave Boise, we will make arrangements for follow-up care with a physician near your home town. We will also be available to respond to phone calls and emails for additional questions and concerns. Many families send us weekly photographs for the first 6 weeks for Dr. Griffiths to review.
We strive to provide the most natural living ear reconstruction possible and treat each patient with kindness and respect. Our goal is to reconstruct your ear with a single operation (versus 3 or 4 stages). Occasionally an additional procedure might be necessary depending upon how well you heal. Your compliance with postoperative care instructions is vital in ensuring the best outcome.
Going Above & Beyond to Serve Every Patient
If your child is in need of safe, effective ear reconstruction, Dr. Griffiths can provide them with treatment to improve their lives. We pride ourselves on being able to meet the needs of international patients so they can receive the same level of care as any other patient. Contact us online or by phone at (208)433-1736 to learn more about the services we provide to our out-of-town patients and schedule your video consultation.
“My son is experiencing a happiness and a confidence that I have never seen before. You have taken away a big, big hurt...Thank you for making my son happy.” Michael, Father of a Former Patient