|On the morning of surgery|
The day finally came today. Everything looked good and this was our window to get the repair done. They did the whole repair in her room. The NICU rooms are designed to have everything needed so they can be used as ORs and a huge surgical team descended on it, draped everything for sterility, performed the surgery, then removed everything. The repair was scheduled for 10a but a previous procedure ran over so they didn't begin until about 10:45a. We got the call that they were all done and just closing her up at 12p. It went perfectly.
The hole was large enough that they did end up having to do a patch. Dr. Crombleholme has had a remarkable amount of success (success = no reherniation) using a flap of the innermost layer of her own abdominal muscle. The way it was described to us is that they literally just fold it up into the hole in the diaphragm and stitch it in place. When he talked to us after the surgery, he confirmed that there was just a tiny bit of liver up, her stomach, and most of her intestines. It all barely fit into her belly so they're keeping her on paralytic muscle relaxers for the next little while to keep her abdominal muscles loose as her tummy gets used to accomodating everything that's supposed to be in there.
We were not prepared for the total change in her shape. It's a wonderful change but we'd never really noticed how concave her abdomen was until we got to see her with a big round tummy.
In the picture above, taken just an hour or so after they finished closing her up, you can see her big tummy. The incision is on her left at the level of her belly button. With the way they do the dissolving stitches, it's likely that the scar will be very faint by the time she grows up. She's doing a great job tonight and has come through like a trooper.
The post surgery x-ray doesn't have the radiology report attached yet but our nurse looked at it and it looks to her like there's already quite a bit of left lung that has expanded since it was given room. They're also hearing a lot more breath sounds on the left side. We're anxious to get more reports tomorrow.
The anxiety of today left me totally exhausted when I came down off my nervous high. I hope we sleep well tonight. We got a sleep room at the hospital and Mom is staying with Willow because we knew we wanted to be extra close to Clarity tonight. We're so relieved that's over and now it's on to the hurdles of recovery over the next few weeks before we take her home!