Thursday, October 11, 2007

Patent Ductus Arteriosus Ligation

I found a description of what Ian will be going through next week for those who truly care, are merely curious or just like to rubber neck at traffic accidents:

Children's Hospitals and Clinics
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 813-6000


Heart defects come in all types, from minor to major. Defects can occur inside the heart or in the large blood vessels outside the heart. The heart defect may need immediate surgery or may be able to safely wait for months or years. In most cases, the timing of the surgery will depend on how sick the baby is.

The heart defect may be repaired in a single surgical procedure or may require a series of procedures. Surgery may involve opening the heart to repair defects or repairing defects of the blood vessels.

An incision is made on the side of the chest, between the ribs (thoracotomy) instead of through the breastbone (sternotomy).

It is sometimes necessary to use tubes to re-route the blood through a special pump (heart-lung bypass machine) that adds oxygen to the blood and keeps it warm and moving through the rest of the body while the repair is being done. This machine does the work of the heart and lungs during the operation.

Heart surgery for children requires a specialized team of health care providers:

  • Pediatric heart (cardiovascular) surgeons
  • Pediatric anesthesiologists
  • Pediatric heart-lung (cardiopulmonary) bypass pump technologists
  • Pediatric surgical nurses and technicians
  • Pediatric intensive care physicians and nurses

Heart surgery requires intensive and extensive monitoring, treatment and coordination by the entire team. Heart surgery for children may take as many as 12 hours in the operating room.

After heart surgery, the child will be moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) to be constantly and closely monitored and treated for several days. During this time the child will have the following:

  • A tube in the airway (endotracheal tube) and a respirator to help with breathing. The child will be kept sleeping (sedated) while on the respirator.
  • One or more small tubes in a vein (IV line) to give fluids and medications.
  • A small tube in an artery (arterial line) to measure the blood pressure.
  • One or two chest tubes to drain air, blood, and fluid from the chest cavity.
  • A tube through the nose into the stomach (nasogastric tube) to empty the stomach and give medications and/or feedings for several days.
  • A tube in the bladder to drain and measure the urine for several days.


Leah said...

No doubt about it, cardiac surgery is like a well-choreographed play!

Tricia said...

Hi, a friend of mine at send me the link to your blog. My name is Tricia and our daughter, Georgia who is now almost 10 months, went through heart surgery to close an ASD, VSD and put a clamp over her PDA on June 5th when she was just about 6 months old. We were very scared and nervous about the surgery, but I just wanted to tell you that after surgery Georgia was a completely new person. She got SO STRONG SO FAST!!! If you'd like to hear more about how it went you can read my blog the june archives will have the most info about the surgery.

Nice to meet you. And all the best to you and your family while you go through this.



Steve said...

This is just the medical things you will learn. I hope you find the doctors, nurses, and everyone else at a children's hospital as warm and friendly as we did. Much different than a regular hospital. Also, when your son comes out of surgery you should have a nurse assigned to just your son for the first 12-24 hours. This was very comforting to us. We had the best nurse in the world. He explained everything he did which made the best of a difficult situation.

This wasn't always the case. One day we were assigned a bad nurse and we talked to the head nurse on the ICU floor and asked to have different nurse. I won't go into details but don't be affraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to ask for a different nurse if you get one who is doing their job or who might be over worked. Without any fuss we were assigned a new nurse. Remember, No one will fight for your child as hard as you will.

Steve said...

I think you said you live an hour away from the hospital. Have you heard about a Ronald McDonald House. We satyed at one while our daughter was in the hospital. It was great. I think they have one close to the hospital in Minneapolis.

Tom said...

Leah: Hopefully directed by a pro!

Tricia: Thanks for stopping by. I will definitely stop over at your site and read up on your archives. Here's to the day when Ian is running circles around his old dad.

Steve: Thanks for the words and thoughts. It's hard to speak up to the people that are caring for your kids, like telling a chef the meal is no good. That took courage to ask for a new nurse; here's hoping I do the same if faced with it. And thanks for the heads up on the housing; fortunately , we live within driving distance. Thanks.

(and I, although not Catholic, used to carry a rosary with me in my pocket. It helped me to remember to pray each time I put my hands in my pocket. It broke, but am thinking about getting another one.)

RK said...

As with Tricia's Georgia, Braska went through open-heart surgery on 2/28/07 at 3 months old and we blogged during the process, although some pics are a bit less "pretty". So feel free to browse through our archives as well for 2/28 through the first week of March. There's some video in there too of her just a couple days after surgery.

It was an amazing experience, and it's been more amazing to see her thrive afterward. We'll pray Ian has the best success!

Archie said...

Thinking of you guys.
It doesn't compare to heart surgery (I guess), but I was definitely keeping score on the decreasing tube count the days after Lili's stomach surgery when she was seven months old. Little victories.
We'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers...

Anonymous said...

Still praying :) And not that you will need any reminders to pray, I love the comfort of a rosary in pocket!!!! Adam's probably the only little lutheran boy :) that has a rosary :) God Bless!! Monica

Tom said...

RK: I read through the archives last night. So many tubes! Glad Braska is the better for it.

Archie: Thanks... surgery is surgery as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure I'll be doing the "tube count" next week.

Monica: Sounds like Adam's got a smart mom. Thanks for the prayers!

bella said...

Thinking of all of you today.