Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Samuel's Surgery

(After surgery with mom and dad - a little tired, but lookin' good!)

What a day! Samuel did a GREAT job!!

Speaking of roller coaster rides – whew! The last 24 hours has been some of our lowest lows and our highest highs. There were scared/nervous/anxious tears before the surgery… and joyful/relieved/happy tears when the surgeon told us the procedure was a success! We are emotionally exhausted… and very happy :)

Samuel had his heart procedure done today at 1:30pm… they successfully closed his PDA – a ductus in his heart. Generally the ductus closes when babies take their first breath of air, but not always… this can happen in full-term babies, but usually it’s in preemies. The first treatments are meds… three doses that can be given in twice. (Olivia’s ductus was also open, but it closed after the first three doses of the meds.) Samuel’s ductus did not respond to the meds, so the surgery was the next step.

The ductus had to be closed… from what I understand, when it’s open the blood still partially circulates to the lungs (like it does during pregnancy), which not only makes it harder for the lungs to function, but also takes away from the blood flow to the rest of the body. Sometimes a small ductus will be left alone to close on its own, but Samuel’s needed to be fixed up.

Here’s the amazing part – they put a little metal clip on the ductus! CRAZY! Samuel has gotten bigger – a little more than 2 pounds now – but I simply can’t imagine doing surgery on such a little kiddo! The way it was explained to me is that the clip is about the size of one of the legs of a regular size staple. One of the other amazing parts – the texture of the ductus is that of rice paper, or thick mucus (ew!), and one of the big risks during the surgery is tearing the ductus. Other risks for Samuel were his lungs – they make the incision on his side (nope, it’s not arthroscopic) and have to move the lungs a bit to get to the ductus, and because his lungs are already weak, this was a concern.

SAMUEL DID FANTASTIC! The clip went well (the xray is amazing to look at!) – his lungs held up – and his little body seems to have handled it well. Next steps – please keep the positive vibes coming our way – the next few days are also a big deal as he comes off the morphine (he was under general anesthetic for the procedure) and we see how his body responds. Initial reports from the surgeon were good… as soon as they put the clip on the ductus, Samuel’s blood pressure went up – meaning the blood flow was successfully redirected from his lungs to the rest of his body. He was very encouraged by this – so we are too :) Thank you so much to everyone who sent up a prayer for our little man - today was a good day!

No comments: