Surgery #9

Today was a long day.  Zack had to check-in this morning at 6:30 for surgery at 8;00.  I am very happy to say Zack was very brave and very strong and very cooperative.  It is a big deal and we are very proud of him.

When we met with Zack’s surgeon this morning she told us that she had been thinking about her plan and wanted to make a few changes.  I will tell you about a few, but I want to wait to tell you about all of them to see how things go over the next few days.

Zack’s surgery was called a rectosigmoidectomy transanal approach.  The name is a little misleading (to me) because he already had his sigmoid colon removed.  The doctor decided instead of opening Zack’s belly, she was going to go in through his bottom.  Doesn’t that sound fun?  We were told that going through the bottom would be less invasive, less painful and that he would recover faster.

During the surgery, Zack’s old anastomosis was revised.  The surgeon said his staples were scattered all over the place and that she could see why he was complaining that they hurt.  We do not know why the staples did not hold like they were supposed to, but she spent a long time removing them.  We even got some to keep as a souvenir.  Some people collect coins, I guess we collect intestinal staples.  Zack’s surgeon took out about five inches of his colon and then stitched the two ends together to form his new anastomosis.

Zack’s stoma had started prolapsing again, so the plan was to revise it and tack it down during this surgery.  When Z’s surgeon got in there she found that it was still partially tacked down and had a bit of an odd twist.  Given those two things, she decided that it was best just to leave it alone.  She then made Zack’s mucous fistula at the bottom of his scar line.  A mucous fistula is an opening in his belly where part of his colon is brought up to the surface so we can access it when needed.  That was interesting to me because his previous mucous fistulas were next to his ileostomy and pouched in his bag.  We will see how this one works.

Zack’s g-tube was changed out and his granulation tissue was removed again.  His new button is a lower profile one that Z’s surgeon prefers more than his Mic-Key button. At the very end of the surgery, Zack had a PICC line placed.  He will need to have his blood drawn weekly for a bit and his veins are starting to revolt.  I do not know how long he will have it, possibly until his next surgery.

We met with the surgeon when she was done in the OR and discussed many things.  I will write about them another day when my eyeballs are not stinging and Zack feels better.  We have a tentative plan that I actually understand and that Jim and I are comfortable with.

Some friends were waiting with us in the waiting room and could tell I was getting anxious.  I know just how long it usually takes from when we meet with the surgeon until we are called back to see Zack.  Today it was taking an exceptionally long time and making me a bit nervous.  It turns out that they were having a hard time controlling Zack’s pain.  He had Dilaudid, Morphine, Valium and Robaxin and was still not comfortable.  He had/has a PCA and was pushing it every few minutes.  The pain team finally came and worked their magic, but it still took about five hours for Zack to start feeling a bit better.  He is now sleeping well. We will see how he does in a few minutes when I try to sleep.

There you have it.  That is all I have.  I am sure that when I read this tomorrow I will wish I had spent more time thinking about what I wrote, but my eyelids are done.  I leave you tonight with a picture of Zack’s teachers.  They all got together to send Zack some love.  It made me smile!


Oh!  One last thing…for those of you who wanted the link to ecards for Zack:

Zack is in location A, the Burnet Campus, room 439.

Hug your babies!

~ Dawn

1 thought on “Surgery #9

  1. Dear dawn & jim, I remember you from high school and can remember how special. You were then…..I believe God was preparing you for what you face today……you have handsome sons who God was sure they would look like their mom ! I believe with all my heart that God gives us what he knows we can handle and he gives Zack parents that can help him on all levels……..have a Merry Christmas and you are in my daily prayers. Don williamson

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