Saturday, June 20, 2009

Post Heart Catherization

Originally posted May 29, 2009

Here's the next update on our little champion Luke:

Yesterday Luke underwent a proceedure called a heart catheterization. In this proceedure the doctor inserted a tiny catheter in a blood vessel in Luke's leg. Then he threaded the catheter up the blood vessel into Luke's heart. From there he took still and movie pictures of his heart and measured the pressures of blood flow in various places. For this proceedure, Luke was under general anesthesia. It was very hard for me to watch all those doctors and nurses wheel him down the hall where I couldn't follow. It didn't help that he was upset by all the jostling before they gave him anesthesia. All I could do was kiss him goodbye and cry and pray that things would go okay.
Things did go okay. The proceedure took about 2 and 1/2 hours. The nurse called us periodically throughout the proceedure to tell us that Luke was doing okay. Afterwards when the doctor came out to report, he told us that he had had trouble inserting the catheter. So the heart surgeon had to come in and make an incision to insert the catheter. After that, the proceedure went very smoothly. The doctor said that he discovered that there is a healthy artery going to the lung that isn't inflated. This is really good news because that means that this lung is getting blood flow and is alive, not just a mass of useless tissue. Hopes for that lung inflating are good. The doctor also said that the proceedure confirmed the plan for surgery soon in which they will put a shunt in his heart to make a way for blood to get to the lungs without medication. This is good news too.
When Luke came out of the proceedure he was very still and asleep for the rest of the day. I called to check on him in the middle of the night, and the nurse said she had given him some pain medication. When we came to the hospital this morning, Luke needed a blood transfusion because one of his blood tests was less than great. He also was retaining fluid, so they gave him a dierhetic. All in all he's doing very well, and recovery is expected to be uneventful.
We talked with Dr. Kao (his cardiologist) twice yesterday, and she is very bright about Luke's future. She was very encouraged to know that both lungs are getting blood flow. She and Dr. Mendeloff have set surgery for Monday, June 8, first thing in the morning. After that, Luke will head up to the Pediatric ICU in the cardiac ward for recovery for an expected week to 10 days. Then he will return to NICU to learn to eat and breathe on his own. We don't know how long that will take. It could take a long time. Then, Lord willing, we will take him home until his next surgery at 4-6 months old. David and I were hoping for surgery to be sooner, but we are encouraged knowing that Dr. Mendeloff is not squeezing Luke in somewhere, but the surgery will be planned, deliberate, and on the docket first for the week. We like our surgeons fresh and full of energy and focus. :)
Thanks for praying. Yesterday was trying, but we all made it through praise be to God!


Rachael & David

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