Pre-Op for 2nd Open-Heart Surgery

At 4:30 in the morning I drove Eric from Sacramento to his pre-op appointment in Palo Alto. His surgery is on January 6. The pre-op included an echo-cardiogram, EKG, chest x-ray, blood work and a few physical exams.

There is one picture missing from the album in this post: my jaw dropping to the floor as I was told they would STOP his heart during surgery. And they will keep his body cold… Yeah… that hit me like a ton of bricks. Then, slowly, I began to think about it. He had that done the FIRST time, too. “Why wouldn’t they tell me?” I asked myself. Then I realized that, yes, they had. I purposely blocked it from my mind because I was eight months pregnant when I was told that. And I remember sobbing. So, to protect myself, I guess my mind blocked it.

So, I had the joy of reliving being told this information like it was the first time. Joy.

He would be put on a heart-lung bypass machine and, again, would need blood transfusions. This poor child has had a blood transfusion with EVERY procedure. And he’s had at least five so far.

We were explained the surgery in detail. The surgeon will be performing a bi-directional glenn that sends blood straight to the lungs instead of going through the right side of the  heart. Some blood will go to the half, but only about half of the previous volume. This allows the heart to not work so hard. Next, they’ll open up the tricuspid valve completely — I guess take it out, to alleviate the dangerous pressures in the right side. They’ll be completely reworking it all. They’ll also look at the other valve and evaluate the hole in his heart.

His recovery time is 7-14 days. So, it varies on how well he does in the surgery. The surgery itself will last between 4-8 hours.



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