Sunday, September 15, 2013

Surgery Update

We met with our surgeon (Dr. B) again this past Friday to discuss future plans for her belly.  I really did NOT expect to hear anything different than our last appointment several months ago.  6 months ago, we had planned to wait until she was walking and/or do surgery in the summer of 2014 when she turned 2....

He thought her hernia looked a little bigger than last time (but in her defense - she IS bigger too).  He thought doing surgery now versus 6 months from now wouldn't make a difference.

So surgery got moved up a little sooner than I expected.  We are looking at late December or early January now.  :(  


What exactly will the surgery involve?
She has a "hole" between her abs - which is basically a regular hernia like any adult gets.  Her liver is what is primarily sticking through.  Probably why she is not walking or pulling up.  Our pediatrician referred to her core as "jello".   Bless it, I don't see Pilates in her future.  ;)  The surgeon is hoping he won't have to use a biological mesh to help hold it together but expects he will.  He said it is part of a pig intestine lining.  Yep... I am NOT telling Mati Claire and Mattox about that one.  They will never let her forget that she is part pig.  ;)  Seriously, it will "dissolve" so to speak or grow into her skin over time, so we won't have to go back and get it taken out.  He said there are basically no risks associated with using it (infection, rejection, etc.)  He will try to sew everything together and use this to reinforce it.  Its hard to describe, but does that make sense?
And yes, he will have to open her entire abdomen again along the incision she already has.  We were hoping for a laprascopic-type surgery but he said the size of her hernia would not allow that.  

Why did we move surgery up?
She has grown to a more acceptable size/weight for putting her through another surgery.  At the rate she gains weight,  6 months from now won't make a huge difference (less than a pound a month).  Her hernia appeared bigger so he wanted to fix it before it got any bigger.  The longer we wait there is an increased risk of trauma to her abdomen:  space jumps, jungle gyms, flying soccer balls, rough-housing older siblings, a typical terrible 2 and/or 3 year old falling, etc...  Since she is NOT walking yet, I can somewhat control her surroundings and try to prevent any trauma to her belly while recovering.  

How long will she be in the hospital and how long is recovery?
This is the good news!  He said he expected no more than 2 days in the hospital and a week for the immediate recovery.  He predicted after a week at home, she would bounce back and be eating normal foods again.  

How much does she weigh now?
ha!  at 14 months she is 16 pounds 11 oz!  (that weight was Friday while she was wearing a onesie and a diaper though - so maybe subtract a few ounces).  I am SOOO looking forward to turning her car seat around.... one day....

Which hospital will she be in?
Still up for debate but we are leaning on Baptist.  Our surgeon splits his time between Baptist and Children's (UMC) now and he said he would/could do it at either location.  Since Matt works at Baptist, we are leaning there.  I loved the care we got while in the NICU at UMC, but I'm personally glad to be done with that hospital (and she wouldn't be in the NICU this time).  We are a little Baptist-biased. :)

Anything else?
Because of the time frame we are looking at, we are getting worried about flu season.  If I don't bring any of my kids around you or visit that much during the holidays in Dec/Jan, I am going to try my best to keep everyone healthy and virus/stomach bug/flu-free.  We really don't need Merritt catching anything from anyone before or after her surgery (imagine throwing up after having abdominal surgery because of a stomach bug).  We got the stomach bug FOUR times last year as a family - and I am praying our resistance to that is up!  lol!  So if we are unsocial or absent for awhile - please understand that there is a bigger issue at hand.  :)

I don't have a recent pic of her belly, but here are some I took in July. It looks the same now:

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1 comment:

Pamela said...

Thanks for the update!! Murphy had the stomach virus yesterday/last night:\\ Good times.
Went to the doc today and his ears are infected and draining profusely. Nice.
I went ahead and did the flu mist today. Do NOT want that mess again this year. Tomorrow I'm taking myself and MK in for the same royal treatment. Lol