Surgery #5

Hello from Cincinnati!  Before I write this update, a disclaimer…it is 11:15 p.m. and I’m tired.  I apologize for any spelling and/or grammar mistakes I make and do not catch before posting….but I know that my family is eagerly awaiting information on Zack, so here I go.

Zack came through his surgery well!  I have to say that it was a bit strange to drive 500 miles to have surgery with a doctor we had not even met, in a hospital where we do not know a soul, in a city we are unfamiliar with, but that is what we did!

Cincinnati’s Colorectal Surgery Department has lived up to its reputation so far and we are happy with Zack’s results.  We met Z’s doctor in the pre-op workup and she took a lot of time with us answering all of our questions.  We were able to talk to anesthesia, the PICC team, and the pain team.

Jim and I were feeling pretty confident until we took Zack to the OR.  He was not happy.  Here in Cincinnati, parents walk with their child to an outer room in the OR.  There the child is given anesthesia to make them loopy before you kiss them good-bye.  By the time we got to the OR, Zack’s memory had kicked in and he was not going down without a fight.  In fact, I think he said that he was going to fight and not have surgery.  It was hard for us to see Zack so upset because we knew he was scared.  The anesthesia team finally got him sedated and Jim and I were off to the waiting room.

The number of OR’s here is crazy!  I think they said that they had 105 cases scheduled today.  It boggles my mind.  When Zack was done, they ushered us into a private conference room to meet with his surgeon.  I thought that room was like a torture chamber because we had to wait for quite a long time after they called us until the doctor arrived.  I have an imagination and waiting in a secluded, quiet room, away from everything is not the best place for me when I’m waiting for news about my child.  You learn something new everyday…..

Happily, Zack did very well in surgery.  His doctor took his bowels out and inspected them and found that they looked really good.  This is great news.  Obviously, the part that had been prolapsing had issues, but she said even if he lost that part he would be fine.

During the surgery, the surgeon decided to take down the mucous fistula.  This means that the small part of his large intestines that was coming out of his abdomen was just dropped back into his abdomen.  We do not need it for anything except potential testing that we can do other ways.  After putting his bowels back into his abdomen, she tacked his small intestine back along the right side of his abdomen following the natural line that it would normally follow.  Then she made the opening in his abdomen smaller and re-sutured the stoma.  The sutures she used inside his abdomen are longer lasting than the ones used in January which should help it hold better.  An amazing fact about Zack is that he has very minimal scarring.  After 5 abdominal surgeries, this is a really cool thing!

During surgery, Zack received a TAP Block to help with pain.  This is a regional pain technique that blocks sensation to the abdominal wall.  The anesthesiologist says it should last about 12-18 hours.  He is currently receiving a muscle relaxer called Robaxin in addition to his PCA (patient controlled analgesia) of Dilaudid.  He is also receiving IV Tylenol, Zofran and got Fentanyl as well as an antibiotic I cannot remember the name of at the moment.

We are currently having an issue with Z retaining urine.  This has happened after each surgery and is common in kids with bowel issues.  He just had a bladder scan showing 580 ml of urine in his bladder.  That is a lot of liquid.  We are trying hard to avoid having a catheter.

On a very positive note, we have output in the bag.  Not much, but we were told it might take more than 24 hours to see anything since his bowels were handled so much today.  We are taking that as a great sign that we will only be inpatient for 3 days.  We will have to hang out until Monday to make sure Zack does not develop any complications, but then we can go home until our next visit July 8.

We were also able to discuss our next steps with the surgeon.  We are hopeful that the GI testing will go well.  If it does, we may be able to reattach Zack next month!!  I’m not going to write more about that until we know everything, but that would be the most amazing thing EVER!!

I do not have any cute pictures today.  It wasn’t a cute picture kind of day.  Maybe tomorrow….until then, hug your babies!