PATIENT OF THE MONTh
orlando nazario – 5 years old
“We didn’t find out he was going to be born with a cleft lip until about 2-3 weeks before due date on the ultrasound. I went to Beth Israel and they referred me to Dr. Ciminello. He came to the hospital when Orlando was born and made us feel comfortable and put us at ease that the situation was going to be ok. I didn’t know much about cleft lip. I did some research on the internet but it didn’t explain much so Dr. Ciminello explained a lot at the hospital which was really helpful.
After the hospital we went in for our first office visit and it went great; we met with the whole team. Dr. Ciminello was amazing and we knew from the first time we met him, that he was going to make us feel comfortable. It was obviously nerve racking on my end, I had a lot of questions which I did bring to his attention. He was very detailed with everything, explained exactly what he was going to be doing, what was going to happen in the future. From there we planned the surgery.
The day of the surgery, we met with Dr. Ciminello and he told us what he was going to do. After we met with him we got to meet with the anesthesiologist so that was helpful as well. Orlando was so tiny at this point, only 3-months old, so it was scary. After the surgery, Orlando was uncomfortable that day but the following day he was already drinking the bottle, things were much better. Before the surgery he had a special bottle so to have him drinking out of a normal bottle was really great. From there we had follow-up appointments, he didn’t need to get any stitches taken out, just went in to basically to check on it. Everything healed well and Dr. Ciminello was great about it.
Orlando had this surgery in 2012 and we go in for a checkup once a year. He’ll need another surgery when he’s 9 years old. Dr. Ciminello will be operating again on his mouth so his teeth can grow better. It’s a long term relationship and were so happy that it’s with one of the best doctors that we could’ve come across. The work that was done was amazing, you can barely tell Orlando had surgery. We were really, really satisfied with him, he does great work. When we still go in it’s a great visit and Orlando is now old enough to comprehend how thankful he is to Dr. Ciminello.”
“Rosalyn, daughter of Pedro Strop (Pitcher of the Chicago Cubs), was with her family in the Dominican Republic. She had not yet joined her dad in Chicago when she was playing around on a table in their house. Rosalyn was climbing on the marble top table and it ended up slipping and crushing her facial bone. The muscle on her forehead went straight down to the bone; she needed over 80+ stitches. The hospital in the Dominican Republic was not a good one but she needed to have stitches so they sowed her up (butchered her stitches) and immediately got on a plane to go see Dr. Ciminello. That’s when they called Dr. Ciminello personally and went to meet him.
They were a little nervous, as any parents are, and didn’t know what to expect. Before going to the office, they did their research, looked at his website and reviews, and felt more comfortable. They were much more at ease when they actually met Dr. Ciminello at the office. His demeanor and bedside manner really helped to provide some relief to the situation. He really went out of his way to make sure they were taken care of, so much so that he personally drove them from the office to the hospital, to get CT scans and to the operating room. He really took care of Rosalyn and made sure everything went smoothly.
She ended up requiring 2 surgeries. The first was the actual reconstruction and the 2nd was the scar revision. The parents were a little nervous that her face was going to be sunk in. Also, since she’s a girl they always felt like the scarring was very important to them. The scars were really bad due to the initial stitches Rosalyn received in the Dominican Republic, but Dr. Ciminello fixed the scars and her facial injury – you can’t even tell anything happened! It was a pretty ugly accident and not something that many 2 year olds can endure.
After the surgeries, Rosalyn was not in pain and everything turned out great! Overall, they were very happy with the surgeries and glad that they made the trip to work with Dr. Ciminello. They would highly recommend him and if anything like this happens again, they know exactly where to go or refer anyone!”
“My dermatologist recommended Dr. Ciminello to me because I needed to have a cancerous mole removed on my forehead. However, I first met Dr. Ciminello when my daughter needed to have a procedure done. Not only was he professional, but when he explained the procedure to my daughter, he was actually speaking to her and not looking at us, so that she understood what was going to happen on the procedure day – She is 16 years old.
When I first went in for my office visit it went great, he explained everything that was going to happen and all of the office personnel were very nice. He was very professional and I was comfortable knowing that we had already met him and went through a procedure with him before. He explained the whole procedure from A-Z, which I was getting put under so it was good that everything was explained.
It was a couple procedures. He came in before the procedure, told me and my husband what to expect and all the personnel at Vanguard were great. I was put under anesthesia, he came out and told my husband that everything went well.
After he did the initial procedure where he had to take layers of my skin off until they removed all the cancer, which was almost the size of a bullet hole. After that, he gave me directions and I followed them with everything that I had to do. I was expecting to have a big ban around my head but it was a regular band-aid/gauze. He told me how to follow up with creams. The scar was going to be large so he wanted to shrink it since it was on my face and that only took one procedure and made a big difference.
Everyone in the office and Dr. Ciminello are very professional. If I had questions and he wasn’t in, the office always got back to me in a reasonable time. I’ve already recommended him to some people, knowing that I went through this, and everyone asks which doctor I used so I give all of his information.
Dr. Ciminello is a very respectful and cordial person and he treats you that way also. He’s a family man that you can laugh with, but also knows when to be serious. A doctor that makes you feel comfortable and sometimes makes you forget what you are really there for. I always felt at ease.If I had to go through it again, I would know exactly who to go.”
Camila and Diego Ludizaca – sister & brother
cleft lip and palate
“We actually have gone to Dr. Ciminello for both of our children. Our first experience with him was with our daughter when she was first born. We were first time parents and Hackensack University Medical Center referred us to him right after my wife gave birth. I believe we met him the 2nd day my daughter was born and on the 3rd day he already performed the procedure on her.
When we first met him, he was very calm and always had a smile on. He knew we were first time parents and very worried but he said this is what he does and it’s a condition that he can take care of – he was always very confident in what he was doing. He really came down to help us understand everything and put our feet back on the ground again.
My daughter and son are 1 year and 4 months apart. With my son, we received notification during the pregnancy that he had the same condition and, while we were surprised that this happened again, we decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. My wife went into labor on a Friday and I believe Dr. Ciminello wasn’t at the office that Friday but he still was there for us and called me on my cell phone – I really thanked him for that. He has a really great staff working for him and they made the surgery happen that Monday. The staff are trained very well, which is important because it is a sensitive matter and we felt very comfortable.
It’s never something you want to go through, but we felt comfortable with Dr. Ciminello and knew what we were to expect from him. He actually went out of his way to call us on a Saturday to make sure we were calm for the surgery. We left the hospital on a Tuesday or Wednesday and everything’s been going really well. We do have other appointments with him and I’m confident that it will turn out like my daughter did. The results were great so we were really happy with how everything worked out.
I’ve seen other procedures that he has done on his website and he’s just incredible. I would recommend him 100 times to anyone, he’s great at what he does.”
mariana franco – 7 YEARs OLD
cranioplasty with implant
“I was referred to Dr. Ciminello by another Surgeon because my daughter, Marianna had an AV removal in September 2015. She had to have a piece of the skull removed and we needed a Plastic Surgeon to put the bone back. He put the bone back and made sure everything looked right. I felt very comfortable because I was referred by a Neurosurgeon that I trust a lot and I knew he did a lot of pediatric cranial procedures. I asked other Surgeons and everyone said I should definitely go to him.
In March 2016, I started noticing that she had a little hole in her skull and it looked like an indent – it looked like the bone was reabsorbing. The hole continued getting larger and the body was reabsorbing the bone – so I went back to Dr. Ciminello and he said we had to put in an implant. He always gave me the confidence that everything would be ok and I always asked questions, if this was the best that he considered and he explained everything and what would happen in the future. He put the implant in and everything looked good, she’s been doing great after that. I was happy with how it turned out and he was always very nice.
I would recommend him to anyone, he did a great job! It’s always scary for your child to go through this but I could tell my daughter was always in good hands – I was so happy that we found him. The office even called me one time because there was another mother that wanted to speak with me about my experience. Her child is also doing very well after Dr. Ciminello’s care. I always felt that we were in great hands with him.”
arianna Muti – 10 YEAR OLD
“We were referred to him by our Neurosurgeon, Dr. Fried, he came highly recommended. Arianna had a brain bleed and stroke – an aneurysm, which is when we first met Dr. Ciminello in the hospital. She had her skull out for about 2 and a half months. He was the plastic surgeon that Dr. Fried choose to put her skull back in and close her up. She’s had two surgeries with Dr. Ciminello.
Our first office visit with him was amazing, he’s so down to earth and tells us how it is. If he doesn’t feel comfortable with something, he will express it and always explains everything in detail. He makes sure we always leave feeling comfortable and know what the outcome is. It wasn’t more of a doctor speaking to us, it was more of a friend because he’s so down to earth.
Ariana was 9 at the time of the surgeries, she just turned 10. She felt very comfortable with Dr. Ciminello knowing that he was going to make her beautiful again. Before the surgery he spoke to us, and while walking her into the room he spoke to us again and reassured us that everything would be fine. After the surgery, he came out and told us everything went well, just as expected. He was always there at the drop of a dime, didn’t matter what time of the day it was, he would always answer.
The recovery time from the surgeries was about 2 weeks or so. The second surgery, she had fat taken from her butt to put into her skull to fix the indent. The post op visits were amazing, whatever I’m comfortable with, he’s ok with. He monitored her skin and how her brain was taking the fatty tissue. Arianna feels so comfortable with him, every time we go to the office she runs right in and takes a picture with him. They always do silly faces together, she knows that he is the one that makes her look and feel beautiful.
I would absolutely recommend him! We not only absolutely love Dr. Ciminello but his staff is phenomenal. Having a wonderful staff is key – I feel like that’s the heart of the office. Dr. Ciminello is just a doll. We live a little far from the office but I travel up north no matter what, just to see him – he’s worth that and so much more.”
Siri yoshi – 1 YEAR OLD
“Siri had a Pierre Robin Sequence, where her mandible was retracted by a few centimeters which caused her tongue to push upward and that’s what caused the cleft palate. We initially met Dr. Ciminello in the hospital, he was very nice and comforting. We had a lot of questions and he had an answer and solution for all of it. He was very professional.
Siri had a couple surgeries with Dr. Ciminello, the first time it was outpatient and she had to have pins put in. She was a baby at the time and fell down about 3-4 days after the surgery, which caused a pin to come out. The pin should’ve been in there for 2 weeks, so she had to have another procedure. Dr. Ciminello was great and he came right to the hospital. He was so nice, answering all of my questions, which I had a lot of the questions. My friends didn’t even know he was the doctor because he was so kind and relaxed while explaining everything. Even after the surgery, he came out and told us everything that he had done. The surgeries always went well.
After the surgery, we called him and asked what to do. He gave us all the information about how to handle it and what to feed her. Knowing that we could call him really helped us get through it. Also, everyone in the office was very helpful through everything. They knew what to do and were always able to get back to us in a reasonable timeframe. We would definitely would recommend Dr. Ciminello to anyone.”
Isabella Von Hoffman – 1 YEAR OLD
“When Isabella was born, I noticed that she had a lump on her head and I thought it was strange, so I asked the pediatrician in the hospital and she said just keep an eye on it, so I did. By her 2-month office visit, the lump was still there so the doctor had a suspicion that it was Craniosynostosis, and that’s when she was diagnosed with Sagittal Synostosis. Isabella’s pediatric Neurosurgeon worked with Dr. Ciminello and that’s how we were referred to him. They told us sooner we do the surgery, the better so that it doesn’t progress any further. Then we scheduled the surgery when she 3 months.
When I first met Dr. Ciminello he was super nice, just such a wonderful guy and made me feel comfortable right away. He came over to the Neurosurgeons office, which I thought was really nice of him to do. He was so confident that it made me feel really good, like it was a normal thing for him. In my head I was thinking her brain was going to be exposed at 3 months old so it was scary and wild for me but he made me feel super confident in his ability and I thought, wow this guy is going to take care of everything and she’s going to be fine.
I remember the day of her surgery, he was the one who came out after everything was done and he had a smile on his face. I was freaking out and crying and I just wanted to hug him! He was acting like it was nothing, I was so relived. I could not have asked for anything else.
I went into his office a couple weeks ago for a follow up to see how everything was healing and progressing, he was super happy with her results and progress. The results Dr. Ciminello gave Isabella exceeded any expectations we had. He did such incredible work, her scar is nearly impossible to find. There is no visible evidence that she had such an invasive surgery. I would recommend him a million times; I’d go back to him for any other issue. I hope he knows how much we appreciate him. He pretty much saved her life, there were complications that could’ve happened if we didn’t have this surgery, or even during the surgery. He saved her life and mine. I’m just really grateful.”
aleeza ray – 2 years old
“My daughter was born at Valley Hospital and when we were there, someone in the unit suspected that she had Craniosynostosis; they couldn’t find the soft spot. They evaluated her and one of the Physicians recommended a specialist, Dr. Ciminello. He came of the hospital and we were so nervous but he answered our questions and completely put us at ease.
They did the scan for her to determine that it was Craniosynostosis and from there, we went to Dr. Ciminello’s office. The first visit was great. He told us that there’s a solution and as concerning as it was, we felt comfortable with him to move forward. He was very personable and helpful with giving us all the information we needed. He told us the whole situation and why it would benefit Aleeza if we did the procedure, what the benefits were for our daughter long term. We decided to go forward with the surgery mainly because of how he was with us, he was very personable, his ability to relate to us is amazing, and he was just phenomenal.
Her first procedure was at 2 months old, it was the endoscope procedure, and Dr. Ciminello and his team assured us it would go well; and it did. She was just very young at the time but he stood by us and he assured us she would have a good recovery; that this is the best thing we could do for and we knew we were in good hands with him. The recovery was good, she recovered well over time and we followed up with him for about a year and a half.
During those follow ups, we found out the she required a second surgery, the endoscopic procedure only works for a handful of kids, so we decided to do the second surgery. It was a longer procedure, bigger surgery and harder on the baby and us. Dr. Ciminello was phenomenal and so was the nursing team at Hackensack – it was a very difficult decision the second time but we felt so comfortable. If Dr. Ciminello was not her physician, I think we would’ve hesitated but we completely trusted him. With him, it doesn’t feel like we’re visiting a doctor, he’s so good at what he does and his patient and bedside manner is amazing – there isn’t any question I couldn’t ask him and there was constant communication. It’s not like other Physicians where they spend two minutes with you, he was very personable with us and that’s what you want, especially when it’s your child, you want the best.
The last time we went to the office, there was another patient there (family with their child), and we spoke to them about everything and how great Dr. Ciminello was to us; we wouldn’t go to anyone besides him. He’s just phenomenal in so many ways, he talked to us like human beings and is just very good at what he does.”
june 2016 – Luljeta Cela
“I had a genetic disorder where I was born without my right ear. In 2012, my sister has 3 kids and one of them had problems with his ears so I went with her one day to see someone about it and I showed this doctor my ear. I asked if he could suggest a Doctor for me and he recommended Dr. Ciminello. Everything went smooth at the first office visit, he told me he could do the reconstruction of my right ear. He told me the risks of the surgery and I took the risk – I felt very comfortable with Dr. Ciminello, he’s a very nice guy.
For the surgery, he explained everything to me before. I was nervous because I have never done this type of surgery before, so I had a lot of questions but he answered all of them. I had two surgeries. The first surgery was about 6 hours, he had to open a part of my head and shave some of my hair in order to put in the implants. The second surgery was shorter, about 2 hours. I was comfortable with the second because it was easier, he was reconstructing my ear.
Afterwards, I used to go to his office every week so he could see how everything was going. Every time I went everything was healing well and I had no problems. I definitely felt comfortable with him working on my ear at the post-op appointments.
I would definitely recommend him. He’s a good doctor with great experience and makes you feel comfortable. I am 25 years old now so I was about 22/23 when I first started. I believe I am the only adult patient that he has done a surgery like this, because he usually does this for children. I am so happy with the results and so is Dr. Ciminello. He tries to make your dreams comes true and that’s really what he did for me.”
may 2016 – susan walsh, md
“I was having seizures and once they did a brain scan, they found a large cranial fossa tumor. When they realized that they had to take the tumor out and said it could affect a nerve on my face, they called Dr. Ciminello to work on it; to protect the nerve. It was the Neurosurgeon who recommended him when I went to the hospital. He was very professional, very competent as a Physician, he met all my needs and answered all my questions; and my family’s questions.
After the initial surgery, Dr. Ciminello did a minor eyebrow lift so that everything was symmetrical. I was not nervous at all going into the surgery, he explained all the steps. He was very personable and answered all the questions I had. There was very little down time after this procedure. When I went in for post-operative appointments, I never had to wait and he explained everything about the recovery.
I am a Physician myself and I would say that the best doctor to go to is the one that other doctors go to. He came highly recommended and definitely lived up to the hype. I would return to him for any other problems and I even sent my daughter to him. Dr. Ciminello is a very good guy.”
2 YR. OLD – christopher dehaas
facial RECONSTRUCTion and reanimation
“Our son, Christopher, was bit by our dog that we owned for 10 years. He was bit on the side of his lip/mouth and cheek, it was over 650 stitches; all the nerves had to be reattached. We went to Hackensack Hospital which is where we first met Dr. Ciminiello. He did the whole procedure and came back the next day to the hospital to check on Christopher. He made sure that our home was a safe place for Christopher to go back to; which it was, we already sent the dog to a shelter.
We went for a few post-op office visits so he could check on Christopher. Since Dr. Ciminello reattached all the nerves, he wanted to make sure the saliva was draining into his mouth, but he checked and it was fine. The visits were wonderful; the girls gave him lollipops and stickers. Dr. Ciminiello offered things and exercises we could do with Christopher. Our son recognized Dr. Ciminello from the surgery and at first he would get nervous that he was going to do another procedure on him so Dr. Ciminello thought Christopher was associating his white coat with performing surgery, so he took off the coat before visiting with Christopher and it wouldn’t give him any anxiety; Christopher absolutely loved him.
Oct 22, 2015, Christopher ran into the side of the couch and cut his eyebrow, his muscle was hanging out and he got 9 stitches. When we went to the ER, they asked if we wanted a Resident but we specifically asked for Dr. Ciminiello, we didn’t want anybody else. He came right away and were in and out in an hour and a half.
Christopher was going down the slide 2 hours after the surgery. He had a very low recovery time, was eating normally, and he took the pain medications for only about a day or two. I just had to clean it a few times a day but Christopher was fine in a few days. We wouldn’t recommend anyone else, Dr. Ciminello is amazing. We tell a lot of people about him and recommend him any chance we get, we couldn’t be happier. The before and after is incredible, you would never be able to tell what happened.”
10 yr. old – Jordan smith
ear reconstructive SURGERY
“My daughter was admitted to a hospital in Newark because she was attached by a dog; her left ear. We were then referred to Dr. Ciminello from another Doctor, he said he is the best Doctor for children.
From our first visit to the last visit was great, he made us feel comfortable. I was probably more nervous than my daughter was but he made us both feel comfortable, relaxed and he was very reassuring through the whole process. Even with our insurance, he would fight for that, he was very proactive with calling and getting on top of it to make sure the insurance knew it was medically necessary.
There were at least 8 surgeries. We’d go every 3 months, starting at the end of 2012. I was nervous with the first surgery since I didn’t know him that much at first, but he did excellent job. After the surgeries, my daughter Jordan healed really well and Dr. Ciminello told us everything we needed to do after the surgery. We’d follow up a few days after the surgery so he could check on her. The first few surgeries we’d follow up once a week; he was insistent that we come back so he could take out the stitches and check on her. The whole process took 2 years, and throughout the whole thing, he was so nice. At the end, we were a little sad when we didn’t have to come see him anymore!
We would definitely recommend him to anyone, he’s a great doctor and his work is excellent. Jordan really loved him as well. He made us feel comfortable and has a great personality; overall he was just great.”
steve mishkin – Cranioplasty
“On December 14, 2014, I was involved in an accident and broke my skull. I had emergency surgery on my brain (bilateral craniotomy, none trivial) and was in a coma for over a week. I went from ICU to TBI in-patient rehabilitation, where I stayed for a month. After I was released from rehab, my neurosurgeon recommended, and introduced me, to Dr. Ciminello. He was very encouraging and specific as to how he would work to improve my scalp and hair and helped me understand the way his process ran. I’m very pleased at the way I was treated by Dr. Ciminello and how everything went from the initial visit on.
I immediately felt very comfortable with Dr. Ciminello, the people he has working in his office, as well as the other surgeons that work for him. He did several surgeries on me, one in the hospital and follow-ups at Vanguard Surgical Center. As I was healing over time, he took out grafts and reconstructed things; and he did it in such a way that I was able to feel comfortable. He took great care to make sure I could look good and feel confident.
The final visit I had with Dr. Ciminello was in June 2015 and everything went perfect. Most people don’t go back to work very quickly after brain injuries like mine. I was fortunate to have met many great doctors along the way and Dr. Ciminello is one who stands out. I went back to work on November 2, 2015 and felt great about the way I looked.
Now, after everything that happened to me, anyone who sees me says “wow, you look really great!” I know that it is because of what Dr. Ciminello did. I would 100% recommend Dr. Ciminello to other patients and am very grateful to him.”
12 Year old, Samuel w.
“We first saw signs two years ago and noticed that it was getting progressively larger. So, we went to a Doctor that had mentioned surgery and how intense the rehab would be. This did not make us feel very comfortable or want to go forward with the surgery. But after speaking with an anesthesiologist from HUMC, he recommended that we take a visit to see Dr. Frank Ciminello
Our initial visit was fantastic, Dr. Ciminello was so calm and put us at ease. We were thrilled to find a doctor that took the time to explain the whole process of the surgery to us because Samuel really wanted to get this done. Samuel was just starting Middle School and it really bothered him. Dr. Ciminello really put our minds to rest that everything would go smoothly.
The surgery went great! Dr. Ciminello explained the procedure in detail, before and after, and made us feel very comfortable that our son was in good hands. After the surgery, Samuel was sore but the first few weeks after, it looked so much better, the mass was gone. It took about four weeks for him to totally recover, but about a week after, he was playing soccer and a few weeks after he was swimming. He’s a very active child and that was one of our biggest concerns is that he can stay active. One of the reasons why we loved Dr. Ciminello was that he explained that there would be very little downtime. He had the surgery and then after two weeks he got back into the swing of things, healed with no bandages. It has been about 4 months now and the progress is remarkable, along with Samuel’s confidence!
We could not be happier with the decision to have Dr. Ciminello perform this surgery on our son. Samuel really wanted and needed it, and the fact that Dr. Ciminello had no concerns that everything would go smoothly, really made a difference.
Every day we are just floored by the results and Samuel is thrilled!”
“It was like having a friend instead of a doctor.”
On November 25, 2013 our infant son, Sabastian, was diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of the cranial “plates.” The result of this abnormal fusion is a growth restriction which causes a misshaped skull. Aside from aesthetics, there is potential for pressure on the growing brain. We had to act quickly! Distraught by the news of what this would mean to our son, I immediately began searching for the top pediatric carniofacial surgeons in my area and that is when I found Dr. Ciminello. I called him. It was the week of Thanksgiving so I had slim hope of getting a consultation quickly. I was wrong. After calling his office, not only did I get someone live on the line, but she immediately transferred me to Dr. Ciminello. I couldn’t believe I was speaking directly to the surgeon on my first call. I have never gotten that personal attention from a doctor before. As any parent in this situation can understand, I was overwhelmed with questions. Within the first few moments of speaking with him I was impressed beyond words, Dr. Ciminello was the calmest, warmest person. I couldn’t believe a doctor could be so humble. And the best part was he saw us the next day! He confirmed the diagnosed and spent as much time as was needed to explain everything in a way we could understand including showing us videos, pictures, and how everything works. I felt comfortable with the fact that he has done so many surgery of this kind. After the consultation, I still had a million questions. Dr. Ciminello gave his cell number and always replied no matter what time. It was like having a friend instead of a doctor, the personal attention was amazing. He took his time with us to make sure we were comfortable. He even offered us references of those who have had a similar experience. Needless to say, we received only the highest praise for Dr. Ciminello.
My son had surgery on January 6, 2014. He is doing awesome. We can’t believe how fast his recovery was. We were overwhelmed. Dr. Ciminello was amazing. My son may not remember this when he gets older, but we will never forget Dr. Ciminello’s caring manner and top notch expertise.