What began as a small, painless bump turned into a grueling 9.5-hour surgery for 3-year-old Caleb Ragaller (now 6).
Caleb was born with a nasal dermoid cyst. Because superficial dermoid cysts are typically slow-growing and can be removed without complication, Caleb’s treatment plan appeared to be pretty straightforward.
“We would go in for normal checkups and our doctor would just tell us to keep an eye on it and let us know if there were any changes,” explains Tina Ragaller, Caleb’s mom. “We planned to have it removed once he got older for cosmetic reasons.”
But when Tina and her husband, Doug, took Caleb to a plastic surgeon, they found out the condition was more complicated than it seemed.
“After reviewing the CT scan, the plastic surgeon saw there was more involved than just a dermoid cyst,” says Tina. “It looked more invasive. He said that even with his 33 years of experience he didn’t feel comfortable removing Caleb’s. He felt there was more involved, so he referred us to Mayo.”
The Ragallers, who live in Ames, Iowa, drove to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where Caleb was seen by Marc Patterson, M.D., child and adolescent neurology.