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Newport Beach

Back to Being a Gamer

"The surgeon is like an artist. The incision scars blend into the creases of his hands, so you can’t even see them."

Procedures: Left and Right Trigger Finger Releases (December 2015) and Smart Toe Implant (February 2016)

Nicole Smith has worked as a billing representative at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute Surgery Center - Newport Beach for the past 11 years. Confidence in her coworkers and the medical staff made foot surgery there on her mom, and subsequently two finger surgeries on her son, Giovanni, much easier on Nicole.

Like any mom, however, Nicole admits to being nervous before her 14-year-old son’s surgery. “I was a basket case as soon as my baby went into surgery,” she recalls.

Both of Giovanni’s middle fingers had developed as bent trigger fingers. She describes hearing his finger make a popping sound when Giovanni would straighten his hand. When his hands started to become painful, Nicole knew it was time to intervene.

Giovann’s left, non-dominant hand was done first. Nicole recalls, “The nurses were so sweet to me while he was in surgery, and to him in the recovery room. The surgery went so smoothly that he didn’t even need to take any pain medications.

“The right hand finger surgery six months later was more complex, with more fluid and more pain, but he’s doing great. The hardest part is getting back to writing, but therapy is helping with his penmanship. The surgeon is like an artist. The incision scars blend into the creases of his hands, so you can’t even see them.”

Nicole describes her son as a computer geek and gamer. She adds, “He loved that the doctor told him he should play video games for therapy, which he does!”

Nicole’s mom had been in a lot of pain when she came to the center about three years ago for a “smart toe implant” to correct a hammertoe and a bunion.

“Her foot did amazing,” says Nicole. “I credit amazing surgeons and a surgery center that goes above and beyond for its patients for both her and my son’s successful outcomes. We’re like a small family center providing very personalized care, but with all the expertise of Hoag Orthopedic Institute.”