Children’s Plastic Surgeon Does The Unthinkable!

In the realm of pediatric plastic surgery, Dr. Matthew Greives, Chief of Plastic Surgery at both UT Health Houston and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, is making waves with his creative approach to post-surgery care. Specializing in craniofacial reconstruction, Greives passionately works with children grappling with trauma to their face or skull, or those born with congenital issues related to the brain, skull, or face.

Post-surgery, it is common for children to wear a head wrap to minimize swelling and aid in the healing process. Traditionally, these wraps are mundane, consisting of gauze or ACE bandages. However, for the past five years, Dr. Greives has transformed this routine into a source of joy for his young patients.

Briza Garcia with his Captain Marvel bandage that Dr. Greives made for him post-surgery. PHOTO: COURTESY GARCIA FAMILY

While many surgeons might merely cover the surgical wound, Dr. Greives takes it a step further. Drawing inspiration from beloved characters such as Minions, Spider-Man, Captain America, Flash, and Batman, he adorns the head wraps with creative designs. What was once a medical necessity becomes a source of excitement for the children, turning their attention away from the discomfort and towards the whimsical characters on their bandages.

“I really like the fact that my whole team gets into it,” Dr. Greives remarks. “They’re always coming up with new things to try.” This collaborative effort among the medical staff contributes to an environment that’s not only medically efficient but emotionally supportive.

Aundre Byrd with a Spider-Man bandage. COURTESY ZSALESIA PORTER

Beyond the immediate visual appeal, Dr. Greives emphasizes the positive impact these adorned head wraps have on the hospital experience. “The kids and the families and the nurses now have this kind of cool thing to refocus their attention on…something to make them a little happier,” he states. By introducing an element of fun, the surgical process becomes less intimidating for the young patients and their families, creating a more child-friendly atmosphere within the hospital.

In a field where procedures can often be daunting, Dr. Matthew Greives demonstrates that small, creative gestures can significantly improve the overall experience for his young patients. “It’s looking for opportunities to add a little sunshine into anything you’re doing. We get so stuck in medicine with really what we have to do, but you can do a little bit more and make a huge difference,” he concludes. Dr. Greives’ innovative approach serves as a testament to the transformative power of compassion in the medical field.



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