Surgery Is Fast Approaching
Tomorrow is the big day, assuming Mya is healthy enough. We will try to keep everyone updated with our blog, as it'll be hard to communicate to everyone individually. We had a big pre surgery consultation with Mya's surgeon on Friday, which was great to learn about the entire procedure. I had a page and a half typed up of questions to ask... and they answered them all. We have the best of the best working out our little girl, we just have to pray for everything to go smoothly. If you are a detail kind of person, I'll include as much as I have time for on our blog postings (also to keep this blog as a journal of the events). If you get overwhelmed/bored by medical terms/stuff (like I often do), I'll try to bold the most important stuff to give you the abridged version.
Here's the scoop... from how I understand it's going to happen.
Mya has a heart murmur. This means that there is a hole in her heart (from the diagram below) that is in the wall between the right and left ventricle. Normally blood moves from your right atrium to the right ventricle to the lungs where oxygen is added back to your blood stream. From there, the blood transfers back to the heart- into the left atrium to the left ventricle to feed your body oxygen. Mya's heart is working 2x as hard as a normal heart because the hole is forcing blood to re-circulate from her heart back thru the lungs where oxygen is placed into the bloodstream to be sent back to the heart to go to the balance of the body. The blood flow is negatively affecting both the pulmonary & aortic valves, so it needs to be corrected. Often kids have this situation that it's only a problem to one valve, and they can often "grow out of it," unfortunately that's not the case with our sweet little one. This isn't an emergency situation for Mya, but if left unfixed (and the only fix is surgery), it could cause some long term damage to small blood vessels which would cause damage to the lungs and could create irregular heart beats.
Beginning two days ago, we've had to bathe Mya with a special antibacterial soap and put some anti bacterial stuff in her nose for the incision and for her breathing tube. We have to do this thru tomorrow morning. Already, not fun. She gets pretty mad with both! She can't have any kind of food or milk after 4:00am tomorrow morning and can't have water/clear liquids after 6:00am. Major bummer for our little one who will be super hungry!!! We are to check into the hospital tomorrow at 11:00am, they'll take her at that time and we won't see her for the next four hours...the longest four hours of our lives!
From 11:00-12:00pm she'll be put to sleep, given a couple of IV's, breathing tube, and all of the anesthesia. They will then do an esophageal echo cardiogram where they look at her heart by putting a scope down her throat to get a better picture and to quadruple check visually to see if anything looks different before they open it up. At that point, she'll be taken into surgery, which should last about 45 minutes. They will open her chest thru a vertical incision (probably 3-4" long), and stop her heart by tying off the valves to her heart but forcing her blood thru a pump that will add oxygen to her blood and act as her heart temporarily. Once they stop her heart from beating and drain the blood, they'll make an incision thru her right atrium. They will go thru that section to get to the hole, and will either give her some stitches to close it or they will patch the hole. Once they get everything to the desired level, they'll slowly re-introduce her blood back into her heart, and within 1-2 minutes the machine will no longer be necessary. Apparently your heart is a very strong muscle and really doesn't have a problem stopping temporarily. They'll add a drainage tube to the bottom of her incision, and will add two wires (standard procedure) for a pacemaker if necessary... but precautionary only. They then wire her breastbone back together and close her chest with stitches from the inside and a "glue" to the outside. She'll be taken to ICU from that point and will stay there with her own doctoral care for probably the next 24hrs. These doctors will decide how stable she is and will make the choice to remove the breathing/drainage tubes from her and to advise when to let her wake up. Hopefully no more than a day in this spot! After that, she'll be released to the "main floor" where we as parents will be more important to help care for her. The main goal at this point is to get her home... they don't want to keep her. She'll have to be eating well, at a comfortable level with pain, her oxygen level has to be to 100%. At this point, they're telling us to expect 3-4 days in the hospital- a much better report than our previous 7-10 day expectation. She should come home with Tylenol and a pain killer for the next 5ish days.
So that's the tale as I know it and I'll be sure to keep up when/while I'm able.
We thank you for styaing updated and for all your prayers during this difficult time!