Monday, May 21, 2012

Procedures 6:00pm May 21st

So earlier one of the Cardiology fellows came in to explain to us what they are going to be doing tomorrow and answer any questions we might have.  They are going to be doing a heart catheterization (a routine procedure that they do on heart babies to make sure that there aren't any other problems that they need to address during surgery that there isn't any easier way to see), which means they are going to be sticking a tiny catheter up into his heart.  They will most likely be going in through his groin (like they did for his pick line), but if neither of his veins in his legs is good enough, they might go in through his neck. When they get into his heart, they are going to be taking pressure readings in the different chambers and they will be looking at how their work is holding up.  They are going to be injecting a contrast dye into his pulmonary arteries so that they can see if there is any narrowing in x-rays.  If there is narrowing like there was in his aorta, they will stick the catheter in there and inflate a balloon to push it open.  Because there is a lack of flow to his lungs, there is also a possibility that his pulmonary arteries are narrow the entire way and in that case, there isn't anything that they can do right now to correct that, it will have to be addressed during his Glenn procedure.  They will also be looking for collateral vessels, which are vessels that the heart will grow in response to decreased flow in order to compensate.  Because they are addressing flow issues through surgical procedures, they don't want the heart to try and compensate on its own, so if there are any collateral vessels that they don't want starting to form, they will physically plug them up while they are in there with the catheter.  Owen will be sedated for the procedure and just to keep him calm through it he will also be intubated, but they will most likely take him off of the ventilator before he comes out of surgery.  The whole procedure usually takes around two hours, but if there are any other issues they need to address such as collateral vessels or narrowing pulmonary arteries, it will take another hour or so.  He will most likely be going in to surgery tomorrow around 10:30am, but that is subject to change because they are doing another procedure before Owen and his time is dependent on how the other procedure goes.  As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved, but since Owen doesn't have any other complications at the moment the risks are extremely low.  Hopefully everything goes well and his heart looks good.  They will most likely be keeping us overnight tomorrow, but there aren't any reasons that we shouldn't be able to go home on Wednesday at the moment.

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