Victoria’s Story

This Non-invasive Option Dr. Fischer Provided to My Daughter Victoria Was Nothing Short of a Miracle.

As she approached her teenage years Victoria Fox and her mother Amanda Fox met Dr. Anne Fischer, a pediatric general surgeon offering a unique treatment for chest wall conditions. Victoria was diagnosed with pectus carinatum, a genetic disorder consisting of the chest expanding out over the sternum. Dr. Fischer recommended a non-surgical approach as a treatment option. Just eight months after being fitted with the T-Joe Pectus Bracing System, Victoria’s mother noticed an entire transformation in her daughter.

“Victoria wouldn’t wear V-neck shirts or anything that would show off her chest due to her lack of confidence because of the pectus ailment. This treatment has boosted her self-confidence, and when you’re a girl, that’s a huge thing,” said Amanda Fox.

During Victoria’s appointment at Dr. Fischer’s Palm Beach Children’s Surgical Specialists office in West Palm Beach, a 3D imaging scan was performed to measure and photograph her condition.

“The imaging appointment at Dr. Fischer’s office was simple and non-invasive. Dr. Fischer and her staff really made it a comfortable experience,” said Amanda Fox.

The data was sent to the manufacturer and a custom brace was made and shipped to the Fox’s home. Wanting the best for her daughter, Amanda wondered if the pectus brace could provide treatment over a surgical approach to treatment.

“I was shocked when Dr. Fischer told me there was a non-surgical option available. I was skeptical about it at first. Another surgeon we had seen suggested open surgery and told us there wasn’t another option. Dr. Fischer’s opinion of it and the treatment she was offering was a complete 360-degree turn from what we were told and that was refreshing,” said Amanda Fox.

Following recommendations by Dr. Fischer, for the first six-weeks Victoria wore the pectus brace 24-hours a day, seven-days a week and only took it off when she took a shower. As Victoria progressed into the program, wear-time increments decreased by three-hours, then six-hours until, after seven months of treatment, she only wore the pectus brace overnight while sleeping.

“The brace became part of her bedtime routine. We also made some adjustments with her school uniform. The brace was fitted so I bought her polo shirts that were a few sizes bigger. This helped her out because the brace wasn’t as noticeable. If Victoria wanted to go to the beach or the pool she was allowed to take the brace off for an hour or two,” said Amanda Fox.

Over time, Victoria and Amanda Fox noticed the pectus brace was working.

“Victoria’s chest wall began to level out and looks completely different than it did before we started with this treatment. Before her chest was sunken in the middle and now there’s not much concaveness. I’m not a surgeon but I see the difference. She sees the difference,” said Amanda Fox.

Prior to meeting Dr. Fischer, Victoria underwent a Chiari malformation surgery by Dr. Fischer’s colleague, neurosurgeon Dr. R. Dev Bhardwaj. After Victoria recovered and was given the all clear by Dr. Bhardwaj, Amanda mentioned she was talking to another surgeon about an open surgery option for Victoria’s pectus disorder. Dr. Bhardwaj suggested a non-surgical option for this ailment his colleague, Dr. Fischer offers.

Victoria has a fun personality, is very brave to have undergone a neurosurgery procedure and didn’t hesitate to embrace the pectus brace. At the time she met Dr. Fischer and heard about the non-surgical approach, Amanda was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which metastasized to her lymph nodes.

“This non-invasive option Dr. Fischer provided to my daughter Victoria was nothing short of a miracle. At the time my daughter was originally supposed to have the open surgery I had my entire thyroid and 76 lymph nodes removed. Opening up her entire chest would’ve been invasive and a lot to handle for her little body. She would’ve been in the hospital for five days followed by three to five months of recovery. I couldn’t imagine Victoria recovering from a major surgery. I know for sure I would’ve put my care on hold to care for my daughter,” said Amanda Fox.

This non-surgical approach by Dr. Fischer gave Amanda time to focus on radioactive iodine therapy to treat her cancer.

“I’m doing really good and have a positive attitude about it,” said Amanda Fox.

As for the Pectus brace, Amanda said Victoria is still wearing the brace but will be done very soon.

“Victoria doesn’t feel as winded when she is running and playing anymore. Her quality of life has gotten better,” said Amanda Fox.