Born in Ringgold, Georgia, Samuel has been a patient of Fernando Burstein, M.D., since before he can remember. His mother, Michelle, describes Samuel as “very athletic” and is proud of him as he balances football, baseball and basketball, along with his high school studies. With his confidence and athletic background, many would never guess that Samuel was born with a unilateral cleft that affected his nose, lip and palate.
Samuel has undergone multiple reconstructive procedures ranging from cleft lip revisions and hypoplasty procedures to reconstructive rhinoplasty and jaw surgery. Double board certified in plastic surgery and otolaryngology, Dr. Burstein repaired Samuel’s cleft when he was an infant and continued to perform further revisionary surgeries as needed for his lip and nose as Samuel grew, to ensure proper development and function.
Today at 17 years old, Samuel lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee but continues to visit Atlanta for his appointments with Dr. Burstein. “We have a well-respected and very experienced craniofacial surgeon here [in Chattanooga], but we still prefer Dr. Burstein,” says Michelle. “Everything has been so great and we haven’t had any complications at all so it’s worth it.” As Samuel continues to excel in school and sports, he’s preparing for military college after high school. Michelle feels thankful for Dr. Burstein as she recalls, “Dr. Burstein told me his goal was to make sure Sam had a normal life and growth. I’ll always tell him thank you as that’s exactly what he did.”