Monday, September 13, 2010

Stage two, go!!

It's late and the thought of our baby girl undergoing her second open heart surgery in four months has us up late into the night.

We know surgery will happen at 8:30 a.m. Philly time and Zoe is the only surgery on Dr. Spray's schedule Tuesday, which is a good thing. What we don't know is exactly what percise surgery he will perform.

For the stage 2 surgery, there are two comparable surgeries which can be utilized: the bi-directional Glenn and the hemi-fontan. Typically, the Glenn is performed. Many surgeons have a preference and regularly perform the one they are partial to. Dr. Spray can do them both and he decides which one is the most appropriate to his patient and operates accordingly. In Zoe's case, since her left pulmonary artery is significantly narrowed, Dr. Spray will likely perform the hemi-fontan. The functional outcome between the two procedures is essentially the same, but the hemi-fontan is more invasive. The benefit, however, to the added invasiveness is it eliminates some needed steps from the third surgery, the Fontan. Thus when it's time for Zoe's Fontan, that surgery will be quicker and easier.

For a visual, and to hear it directly from the professionals' mouths, check out this video from CHOP. Dr. Spray is the one wearing the white lab coat.

We've been forewarned of Zoe's tough recovery after her surgery. She will experience horrible headaches due to the added blood flow to her brain. Please say a prayer that Zoe's headaches pass quickly and do not cause her much distress. It will be extremely difficult to see her in such pain.

Since many of you are on the West Coast, or close to it, you will just be rolling out of bed as Zoe's surgery wraps up. Regardless of when you wake or get a chance to check the blog, however, we will try to update as we receive information.

Please say prayers, send positive thoughts, and check in for tomorrow's surgical and recovery updates. Thanks again to everyone for all the support and encouragement. We don't get the chance to thank everyone individually, but all your words are read and heard, and they mean a great deal.

The Lihns

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