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The Complete RED Survival Guide

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If you're clueless about RED and still think it's just the color of firetrucks, you're probably at the wrong site.  However, here's a little background on the Rigid External Distraction procedure.

       The RED may not the best choice for everyone but it is actually a complex and useful invention (I can only say that now).  The RED is attached while in surgery.  You will have some screws that attach the halo-like device to the head, and pins and/or wires under the skin , attached to the skull. These connect to a vertical crossbar that runs in front of the center of the face. A lot of this depends on your case.

       After the surgery, you then start turning the screws with a special wrench, that gradually advances the midface forward (I know it sounds awful, but it's not as graphic as it sounds). You continue to turn at the pace that your surgeon 'prescribes' for you, until the goals are accomplished.

Questions:

Does it hurt? Yes.

Are you sure? Yes.

Really? Yes.

Then why do all these articles tell me it's 'pain free' and so 'wondeful'? They've never been through it.

Are you TRYING to stress me out? No.

SHOULD I stress out and act like a chicken with it's head cut off? No, I've already tried that, it didn't work

Does it hurt like you're going to die? No.

Does it hurt as much as the traditional way*? Probably not.**

Does it get a better result than the traditional way? Usually, yes.**

Do you heal faster? Usually, yes.**

Will you have to have the RED done as many times as the traditional way? Usually, no.**

*The traditional is to have the midface is brought fo rward wIthin one big surgery.

**Since I have never been through the "traditional" way, these answers are based on what others have told me.

The answer to question #1 (and #2 and #3) really varies with everyone. If you have never gone through this before, you have probably heard the sugar-coated version of the experience from your surgeon or the RED company, and various people who have never gone through it. Yes, it does hurt, but you'll pull through. Everyone who has contributed to the site knows this. Please don't let this site scare you, I'm only being honest so you can have it straight. Sometimes, the anticipation up until O-Day (Operation Day) is worse than O-Day itself.

Please talk to your surgeon with any of your other questions!

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