Mom fights to take twins to Texas for skull surgery - WNEM TV 5

Mom fights to take twins to Texas for skull surgery

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A mother believes the best possible surgery for her boys should be done in Texas and is fighting hard to get them the operations.

One in 2,000 babies are born with a deformed skull that can lead to brain complications if not fixed while they are still an infant.

Karla Holton says she has done her research and wants them operated on in Texas. Her insurance provider wants them to undergo treatment at Children's Mercy Hospital where doctors are offering a different course of action.

Lance and Blake Tranckino are nearly 10 months old and have insurance through KanCare, which is how Kansas provides Medicaid to consumers. The boys have craniosynostosis.

Holton said she met with a doctor at Children's Mercy who said he wanted to perform a less invasive procedure.

"He made it sound more positive for the kids that they don't have this full open procedure," she recalled.

But she said she discovered a higher risk for complications, including developmental delays. And the boys would need to wear helmets.

"It's not what's best for our kids," she said. "We started looking at our other options and that's how we found Dr. Fearon in Texas."

The Dallas-based physician told Holton that he won't use plates or screws and the boys won't need post-operative helmets. But the Texas doctor is out of network.

KanCare believes the doctors at Children's Mercy or the University of Kansas Hospital are more than capable of treating the boys.

Dr. Richard Korentager, a plastic surgeon at the University of Kansas Hospital, said patients and loved ones want to do research on medical procedures but they don't have the medical training that doctors have.

"Without being a subspecialist, it's really impossible for a family to really understand the literature that's out there. The scientific literature," he said.

Holton has never met with Korentager or any other doctor at KU.

"We have not been referred to KU. We have been referred to Children's Mercy and that's it," she said flatly.

KanCare operates the Sunflower State Health Plan and issued the following statement.

"Sunflower undergoes a thorough review process with all cases and in this case it was determined that Children's Mercy can provide the same procedure with better access to follow up care," the statement said. "Sunflower did not see a medically necessary reason to send the family out of network when the same procedure can be performed locally by highly qualified health care professionals."

KU Med officials say they have a doctor who does work very similar to the one in Dallas that Holton found, but KanCare does not list that doctor as an in-network option. KU Med officials are trying to sort that out.

Holton said she doesn't feel completely comfortable with the KU Hospital surgeons' preferred procedures.

In an effort to get her boys to Texas for the surgery, Holton and other family members are attempting to raise $100,000.

If you want to donate to the family's medical fund, click here.

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