Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heart Surgery

We're finally up to date on the blog!
We came up a day before surgery so the baby could get a sedated echo done.  The doctors needed him to be still so the echo could show them a little more info.  They were hoping they could do the surgery from his side instead of doing open heart surgery, but they needed to present it to the cardiac board before a final decision was made.

{These are his "Before" pictures.  I took them when we thought the surgery would be performed through his side, otherwise I would have taken them just of the front of his chest}

The morning of his surgery, Wednesday, April 17th, we had to be at the hospital at 7am and met the surgeon, Dr. Gruber, right before surgery.  He said he felt like it would be better if we went the open heart route.  If he went through the baby's side, he would for sure have to have future surgerys.  If he did open heart, it would be a one-surgery deal.  So he felt like that was the best way to go and we agreed.

{Right before handing him over for his surgery}
Handing Christian over to the anesthesiologist for surgery was so hard.  I gave the baby to him and just started crying.  It was so scary.  Jake and I just hugged and cried in the hall.  There are so many unknowns that can happen in any surgery, and open-heart surgery is so scary.  So we had to occupy ourselves for hours until surgery was over.  We went to the cafeteria and got breakfast.  I kept crying.  And crying some more.  I had to try to get my mind off of it.  So I updated the blog with the RSV story :)

Dr. Gruber had told us he would try not to do bypass, but they ended up having to do heart bypass.  And it ended up being a really good thing going through the chest.  Instead of being a coarctation of the aorta, he ended up having a hypo-plastic aorta, which means that instead of being narrow in just one spot, his aorta was narrow all the way on the arch.  So they had to "reconstruct" his aorta.  They basically cut it open and patched it with a donor piece of artery, so half is his aorta and half is donor.  As he grows, his aorta will get bigger and the donor piece will stay the same.  When I get home, I'll post the drawings that Dr. Gruber drew for us.  And they ended up not even touching his VSD, which means they didn't even have to go into his heart, just his aorta.

Christian did great in surgery and everything went well.  Had they gone through the side, they probably would have had to open his chest, too, so we would have had one sore baby.  And they told us that going through the side is actually a lot more painful that going through the chest because there is more muscle to cut through on the side.

{Right after surgery.  The red tube under his incision was his draining tube.  The wires on either side of the draining tube were his pacer wires, in case they had to shock his heart}

They had to intubate him for the surgery.  They kept him on the ventilator over night and ended up extubating him on Thursday afternoon, which made me a happy momma because that meant I could hold him.

{All the meds he was on.  These went into all of his IV's.  He had an IV in each foot and in his right hand}

{His first recovery room w/ the monitors and the ventilator (to the right)}

1 comment:

Amy said...

What a strong little guy, even though he has had tough life so far. He is lucky to have such great parents and family to watch over him! Prayers are still coming your way! You are such a good mama, thanks for the updates!