Monday, November 26, 2012

Plan For Surgery

Well, we finally got word just about an hour ago. Adam and I've been praying so fervently today and honestly felt like we were on pins and needles as we waited for the report from the doctors.

After an early morning of chest x-rays, brain and kidney ultrasounds, talking to two cardiologists who then went back and conferenced with 21 other cardiologists we just waited...waited, waited, waited. All day long it seemed. Finally, about 2:00pm Dr. Bornemeier and the APN came in to give us the consensus. I was very nervous when they slid the glass doors open and stepped into our room.

What they said is that as long as nothing changes with her breathing, lungs, heart rate, blood pressure, etc...if it all stays as it is today, they plan to do the surgery on Thursday. They will wait until Wed. to set an exact time, but when they do I'll let you all know. The surgery will take the better part of 5 or so hours. We will get more precise details and sign all the consent forms on Wed. when we meet with Dr. Michiaki Imamura.

He plans to do a Thoracotomy which is an incision into the pleural space of the chest. Thoracotomy is a major surgical maneuver—it is the first step in many thoracic surgeries and as such requires general anesthesia with endotracheal tube insertion and mechanical ventilation. Thoracotomies are thought to be one of the most difficult surgical incisions to deal with post-operatively, because they are extremely painful. Though we hate the fact that she needs surgery, we are glad that she doesn't have to have a midline incision, where they open up her chest and then have to be on a bi-pass machine, we prayed specifically for this!

As far as the procedure, they are going to do a subclavian flap angioplasty. Basically, from what I understand, they are going to take an artery from her arm and use it to make the graft at the site where the narrowing has occurred. They are hoping that by using real, living tissue that it will grow with her as opposed to using a synthetic material, in hopes that she won't have to have additional surgeries in the future. And when synthetic materials are used the patients often can have a re-occurence of coarctation (or narrowing of the aorta), which we obviously don't want to happen again.

After meeting with the cardiologists, Adam and I were so grateful and pleased with what they told us. Honestly, its the most "ideal" scenario for this very unfortunate scenario that we find ourselves in. We truly feel like the Lord has just completely gone before us. First off, He allowed this RSV virus to be caught now which enabled the problem to be found before something horrible went wrong (like her stopping breathing, turning blue, having permenant heart damage, etc). When we needed an IV, after 4 other people tried to get it, there was an IV specialist, Geraldine, who just happened to be on the floor. She's an Irish woman in her mid 60's who was FABULOUS! After 2 hours of trying to find a vein that wasn't blown she used a transilluminator light to find a place in Ava Jane's foot to get her IV in. And when we needed a feeding tube, Val, a wonderful nurse, originally from Barbados but who lived in England, was on duty and she saw the need and proactively took over and put Adam and I at complete ease.

Continually the Lord has gone before us, He's been our Jehovah Jirah over and over and we are humbled and so thankful! Please continue praying for Ava Jane to get strength, and for this RSV to completely go away. As we know more specifics about the surgery time I'll post it and would ask for your continued prayers.

Thanks to Jennifer McHam for the beautiful pictures!
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Me and my sweet Ava Jane...oh how I love her!
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  1. praising the Lord for answered prayers! He will go before you and will hold Ava Jane closer than anyone else. Praying for you!

  2. Courtney, I just got caught up on your posts. I wish I was there to give you a big hug. Reading everything all at once, it was so easy to see God at work. Praying for y'all constantly. God's plans cannot be thwarted, so continue to rest in His gracious, merciful hands. Love you and I'm so sorry I wasn't caught up.


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