View Full Version : Doc Band question
05-04-2009, 09:59 PM
For those of you that have had a child using a doc band... who referred you? The CFS that saw my son, said that his metopic suture is fused thus the ridge on his forehead, but no trig so he will not do surgery. I then asked him about a flat spot on his head. It's not directly on the back but kind of to the side (it's more like a slant). Anyways he gave me a number for the craniotech people, but was a bit discouraging in regards to helmet therapy. Said that it wouldn't fix the cranio (which I know, but what about the flat spot??), said most insurances won't cover it, and said he would have to be in it for a very long time. I just see so many babies with cute, perfect round little heads. Is plagio more cosmetic? What are your experiences with the doc band? Any suggestions, opinions will be greatly appreciated. Oh, Eduardo will be 5 months on May 7th so I know I need to get this going!
05-04-2009, 11:00 PM
Well that's great that your son won't need surgery. Yeah!
We used a Doc Band to correct Plagio and were thrilled with the results. Our doctor said the exact same thing...that he would need it for a year, that it wouldn't really correct that much anyway, that it would be uncomfortable. He was wrong on all counts.
Patrick had a couple of things going on that the band corrected. Here are a few before pictures that shows his head shape before:
He had a flat spot on the back left side which was a result of the fact that the back of his head was so prominent that it forced his head to one side. flattening also pushed his forehead forward a little and gave his head a slight parallelogram appearance from the top. He also had positional molding from his position in utero which made his head very narrow and long and caused one side to slant up quite a bit higher than the other. That was the aspect I wanted corrected the most becuase it made his face look asymetrical in the mirror. He also had a shelf in the back (the occiput) which was very prominent as his head was growing back instead of rounding out. He kind of had that newborn head look but it wasn't getting any better. The helmet did a wonderful job of encouraging his head to round out. We started helmet therapy at 4.5 months and he needed two helmets to get the correction he did. He was in the first one for about 8 weeks and the second one for about 3.5 months. You can still see a slight height difference in the front of his head if you are really, really looking for it but it is not anything that anyone but me would notice. And the back of his head is still prominent but it is now well within the normal range. I have no regrets at all about pursuing treatment.
Our insurance covered about 90% of the costs involved (we had Aetna PPO) The total cost (before insurance payments) was $6000. If we hadn't been able to get the coverage I probably would have found a way to pay for the first helmet ($3000) on our own. I'm not sure I would have continued with the second just because the correction after the first was pretty good. It's expensive...but still cheaper than braces if that puts it in perspective at all! Cranial Technologies has very good insurance specialists who will guide you through the process. They will be able to give you an estimate on what your insurance will pay after your first consult. I consider it corrective, not necessarily cosmetic (although that term isn't out of line either). The gave him the shape his head was meant to have. It can't reshape the head on it's own, it just uses the natural growth to gently encourage rounding out.
I think it is worth at least getting a consult and going from there. The people at Cranial Tech were great. They were very, very honest about the length of time they anticipated him needing the helmet and about what it could and could not correct. Their estimates on both fronts were spot on. The earlier you start therapy the shorter time the helmet is typically required because the reshaping is only possible through normal head growth and growth slows down dramatically after the first year. So the younger you start the faster the correction occurs.
It is very possible that patrick's head would have self corrected some on it's own but I really doubt it would have been nearly as dramatic as the result from the helmet.
I don't want to sound like I'm pushing it on you. It isn't right or necessary for everyone. But our experience was very positive. You can see our "official" before and after pics in my profile. Good luck with the decision.
05-04-2009, 11:47 PM
We were referred by our CFS to the StarBand (I think it's very similar to the Doc Band) for my daughters trig related to her metopic suture. Our situation is unique in that her suture is not fused according to the CT Scan, but her head was shaping as if it were. She also had some minor plagio on the back, similar to what you have described as a slant on one side. The CFS said that he would try the band for 3 months. He expected that would be long enough to correct the plagio and possibly impact the trig as well.
Amazingly it has worked wonders!! I will try to post a copy of the scan that was done last week so you can see the difference. If her metopic suture was in fact fused, the helmet would not have had any impact on her trig. But, in just 5 weeks it has made an incredible change.
As for the insurance, I am currently appealing the decision to not cover the helmet (we have UHC). We were also told that insurance companies rarely cover the helmets on the first claim. That you have to appeal it at least once. I cannot tell you how this will end for us because I am still compiling everything for the appeal. But we went ahead with the helmet anyway because we felt it was worth it to try the helmet and possibly avoid surgery even if the insurance company would not cover it.
For us this was the right decision. Rylie's head has made remarkable improvements, not the least of which is that her plagio is nearly gone and the height of her head relative to the width has improved tremendously. I will post pics on my profile.
Also, FWIW... our CFS said that if her motopic suture was fused the only thing that would happen is that the plagio would correct itself even faster!
Good luck!! This has been a very difficult journey for us, but it is wonderful to have support here. Please let me know if I can help with anything!
(ok... having issues with the pics, so look for them soon on my profile!)
05-05-2009, 12:15 PM
My little one, Georgia is in a DOC band right now. She doesn't even notice it on her head. Her plagio is absolutely looking better. Her head is definitely looking more rounded. As far as insurance, callyour ins co Ask what percentage they cover. They will probably ask for the Dr.'s notes and how much the billing amount will be. I ended up having it all paid for from our policy. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Good Luck. And you have a great resource here with CK!!!
Welcome to CK
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.