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New Jersey boy born without ear gets his dream Christmas gift

December 26, 2020

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Masyn Ortiz has waited over 2 years for a new custom-built ear

Nine year old Masyn Ortiz was heading to his grandparents on Christmas Eve but, he said he didn’t even need to look under the tree for his present.

“I already got the best gift,” he told The Post from his family’s car. “I got a new ear.”

Ortiz, a fourth-grader from Jackson, NJ, was born without an outer ear on his right side or an ear canal — meaning he can only hear on his left. The technical terms for Masyn’s condition are microtia and atresia.

On Dec. 18, thanks to his surgeon, Dr. Thomas Romo, Lenox Hill Hospital’s director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, and the Little Baby Face foundation, which covered the costs, Masyn woke up in the operating room with a new ear — something he’s wished for years.

The operation had been scheduled for March but postponed because of COVID-19 after Masyn had already waited two years.

In an painstaking, intricate process that takes about an hour, Dr. Romo harvested cartilage from Masyn’s ribs and sculpted an ear that he said is indistinguishable from a real one.

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Dr. Thomas Romo, Lenox Hill Hospital’s director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery

Dr. Romo, who has a beard and sounds suspiciously jolly on the phone, admitted he did feel like a certain holiday figure himself when it was all over. Romo has donated his time and skills over the years to help children born with deformities.

“You do have the sense of being Santa, bringing this gift of joy to this wonderful family,” Romo told The Post. “Masyn is the most upbeat, articulate, wonderful boy. He radiates happiness.”

Masyn’s mom, Nicole, 37, a dental assistant and his dad, Daniel, 37, who works in construction, said their son was always level-headed about his condition and never pitied himself. He wore his hair long to hide the problem.

“We never made much of it,” Nicole Ortiz said. “We left it up to him and it didn’t bother him too much at first. If the other kids saw it when he was swimming and said something, he’d just say, ‘Oh that’s my little ear.’ Then two years ago he came to us and said he’d like to fix it. I think he was more grown-up about it than anyone — and he wasn’t scared of the surgery.”

Masyn will undergo a second procedure in about three months time, once his new ear has healed, to be fitted with a state-of-the-art hearing device called a bone-anchored auditory implant. The costs are also covered by the foundation. He will then look, feel and hear like other kids his age.

He will also be able to cut his hair short for the first time.

“This is a lifelong present,” Masyn said. But he also said he wanted everyone to know he’s more than a kid with a new ear.

“I’m a football player, too!” he said.

Additional reporting by Sara Dorn

Christmas miracle: Boy with missing ear to have life-changing surgery

December 25, 2020

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A life-changing surgery will give a young boy with a rare ear condition the gift of hearing just in time for the holidays.

He may be only 9 years old, but Masyn Ortiz is braver and stronger than most grown men.

He also happens to be born with a rare condition.

He's missing an outer ear as well as an ear canal, making him deaf on one side as a result.

The little guy from Jackson, New Jersey is hip. He likes music.

Lucky for him, he's about to get his hearing fixed.

He's also about to get a new ear, which means he also can't wait to cut his hair short. Perfect for the summer.

"Um, very distracting when it's hot," Ortiz said.

"It's an unusual procedure and it's unusual to have the experience to do this," doctor Thomas Romo said.

Romo is the Director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

We might as well call him Saint Nick.
"Will it have a profound effect on this kid? Yeah sure," Romo said.

Dr. Romo is performing this surgery at no cost to the family.

The surgery is pricey and not covered by insurance.

So Romo's organization, the Little Baby Face Foundation, provides free surgeries for kids whose families can't afford them.

It's actually three surgeries in all because Dr. Romo first has to harvest cartilage from Ortiz's rib cage, then he has to carve a new ear from it.

It's made from Ortiz's own tissue so that if it's ever injured it will heal and it'll last until he's about 90 years old.

"Kinda tough to wear a mask without no ear," Romo said. "Everybody else got their masks being pulled down by their masks so, if you don't have an ear it's gonna be tough to wear a mask."

The successful surgery happened last Friday. Ortiz's mom says waiting through the procedure was the hardest thing she's ever had to endure.

On Thursday night, the Ortiz family is home together. Filled with gratitude.

"I just hope that he'll be able to do you know anything that he wants to do, and whatever he wants and not have to worry about people seeing it or teasing him and you know will be able to hear better," Nicole Ortiz said.

Masyn Ortiz says there isn't a Christmas present that will ever top this one.

"No matter what I get I'm gonna hold on to this one, the top one," he said.

"The child is joyous and is almost luminescent. So for me I look at this family, I have three sons, I have a wife, and I have a family and you know this is going to be a gift to this family that's going to allow this child to be a productive citizen," Romo said.

Sometimes Santa Claus is a plastic surgeon who wears hospital scrubs by day and an awesome ugly Christmas sweater by night.

And sometimes the best gift can be a beaming smile, giving new meaning to the expression, "grinning from ear to new ear."

Dr. Romo Is A 2020 SuperDoctor!

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Dr. Thomas Romo has been named by NYC Super Doctors® as one of the top doctors in NYC for 2020. The number of doctors receiving this honor is limited to approximately five percent of the region’s active physicians.

Each year, MSP Communications undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a survey of doctors, independent evaluation of candidates by the research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area and a good-standing and disciplinary check. As a part of this evaluation, physicians are asked to consider the following question: “If you needed medical care in one of the following practice areas, which doctor would you choose?”

Since 2005, MSP Communications, has published Super Doctors lists across the country in newspapers, inserts and magazine special sections devoted to Super Doctors. Honorees are also found online at www.superdoctors.com, where selected doctors can be searched by name, medical specialty and location.

Read the full article here

The anatomy of the superficial temporal artery in patients with unilateral microtia

September 2018

Dr. Thomas Romo in NYC

Three-Dimensional Printed Facial Models In Rhinoplasty

Dr. Thomas Romo in NYC

Dr. Romo Is A SuperDoctor!

Dr. Thomas Romo

Dr. Romo’s Lectures In Mexico

Dr. Romo in Mexico
Dr. Romo in Mexico
Dr. Romo in Mexico

Lecturing at the 30th Congress for Rhinoplasty and Facial Plastic Surgery in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and South America. 8 lectures on Facial Plastic Surgery were presented.

Dr. Romo Is A Castle Connolly Top Cosmetic Doctor!

Dr. Romo Lectures On Management Of The Lower Aging Face With The Juvabite™ System

November 2018/April 2019

Dr. Romo lectured on the Juvabite™ system on November 15, 2018 and will lecture again on April 12, 2019. Dr. Romo specifically discusses perioral rejuvenation using the Juvabite™ system and injectables. Learn more about Juvabite™ here.

Dr. Romo Lectures On Management Of The Lower Aging Face With The Juvabite™ System

Thomas Romo III M.D. F.A.C.S. received the Prestigious Community Service Award at the 12th International Symposium of Facial Plastic Surgery in Dallas Texas from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2018.

Dr. Thomas Romo
Dr. Thomas Romo

Dr. Romo Traveled To Regensburg Germany For The European Academy Of Facial Plastic Surgery Meeting

September 2018

Dr. Romo spoke about Endoscopic Brow lifts, Endoscopic Face-lifts, Ear Reconstruction, Implants in Rhinoplasty and The JuvaBite System.

Dr. Romo Has Been Awarded With The RealCare Promise

June 2018

The RealCare Promise makes it easier for patients to find a provider who believes in providing the best customer care. When a patient chooses a provider with the RealCare Promise shield, you know they commit to delivering excellent customer service.

realcare promise_badge

2017 RealSelf 500 Winner

May 2018

RealSelf, the largest online aesthetics community, announced recipients of the 8th annual RealSelf 500, recognizing the company’s highest-rated and most active board-certified aesthetic doctors. Dr. Romo’s commitment to patient education, along with his distinctive ability to inspire patients to share their story with the community has made it possible for his patients to make informed decisions about aesthetic treatments.

RealSelf 500 Winner

Renewal Summit 2018

April 2018

Dr. Romo presented at the Renewal Summit Saturday, April 28th. Over 20 leading experts in health, wellness, beauty, and philanthropy were featured discussing the benefits of Integrative Medicine on legality and quality of life.

International Journal Of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

April 2018 

Dr. Romo participated in a case report centering around facial nerve paralysis in children and the difficulty with diagnosis and treatment. Read the full report here.

Grand Rounds

March 2018

Dr. Romo will be giving grand rounds at Suny Downstate Medical Center. He will also conduct a lecture on Endoscopic Facial Rejuvenation Surgery.

Endo-Composite Facelift

Facial Plastic Surgery

February 2018

Digital patient photography and morphing software have become an important part of rhinoplasty over the past few decades. Dr. Thomas Romo III was recently published in Facial Plastic Surgery from his extensive experience and expertise in Rhinoplasty treatment.

Realself

September 2016

Dr. Thomas Romo III was recently awarded a Top Doctor distinction from RealSelf.com. His wealth of expertise and experience put him on the top of his profession. With many years of experience under his belt he continues to provide the best and most innovative care for all his patients.

realself top 100 doctor

Dr. Romo Publishes Book Chapter On Cutting-Edge Techniques For Ethnic Rhinoplasty

February 2016

Dr. Thomas Romo III co-authored a book chapter called “Dorsal Augmentation Techniques in the African Descent Platyrrhine Nose” that addresses the importance of considering ethnic differences in nasal anatomy when analyzing a nose and planning a rhinoplasty surgery. Dr. Romo is a top facial plastic surgeon with extensive experience in performing ethnic rhinoplasty procedures, including African American rhinoplasty.

Dr. Romo Participates In Annual Conference For Endoscopic Surgery In Cannes

September 2015

Dr. Romo attended the Annual Conference for Endoscopic Surgery in Cannes, France where he served as a panel mediator and presenter on topics ranging from eyelids and periorbital rejuvenation, aesthetic reconstruction of the platyrrhine nose and microtia reconstruction.

Dr. Romo Presents At 11th Annual Middle East Update In Otolaryngology Conference And Exposition In Dubai

April 2014

Dr. Romo participated in the 11th Annual Middle East Update in Otolaryngology Conference and Exposition with presentations on endoscopic brow lifting, rhinoplasty of the non-Caucasian nose and challenging rhinoplasty cases.

Dr. Romo Publishes Paper On Controversies And Techniques For Revision Rhinoplasty

February 2014

Dr. Romo co-authored a paper titled “Revision Rhinoplasty, Panel Discussion Controversies and Techniques” addressing the challenges and latest surgical techniques for revision rhinoplasty.

Dr. Romo Publishes Paper On New Techniques In Microtia Reconstruction

November 2014

Dr. Romo co-authored a paper on microtia reconstruction for pediatric patients using cutting-edge autogenous rib and alloplast techniques.

Dr. Romo Publishes Paper On Facial Reconstruction For HIV Lipoateophy

August 2014

Dr. Romo co-authored a paper on multi-layered ePTFE facial reconstruction for HIV lipoateophy in the Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.

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