I thought I’d post a late Tuesday evening update for everyone. It was quite the day for the Mazza family – especially Samuel. Today he had his PDA ligation surgery, where they closed off his PDA.
Kristen and I got to the hospital just past 9am, as we were told there was a chance he may go into surgery earlier than the scheduled 12pm surgery.It turned out the morning surgery went off without any delays, so we were second in line. It gave Kristen about two hours of hold time with Samuel.
We had visits from multiple social workers, multiple nurses and a few doctors, including the pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Olaf Reinhartz, and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Amit Gupta. Dr. Reinhartz was fairly short, explaining the surgery and reviewing some paperwork. He said it would be about an hour of preparation with IV’s and a central line being installed, but once he went into the room it would be about 45 minutes or so from start to finish. Dr. Gupta explained how the anesthesia worked, what he would do, potential blood transfusions, if necessary, etc.
They took Samuel away at 12:45. We got to kiss him and give him a hug, and then into the OR he went. We reasonably expected it would be a few hours before they called back looking for us. Dr. Reinhartz said he’d come by and tell us how the surgery went. So Kristen and I went outside to relax a bit, and get some fresh air. And we called Dr. Tran at Walnut Creek to check on some test results.
During this break, Dr. Tran told us that Charlie had been reduced yesterday from 2.0 liters per minute of flow down to 0.5 liters per minute, and he was doing so well they were trying him with all oxygen and flow turned off. He was doing awesome, taking his feedings without any trouble. So that was a piece of good news in the middle of our day.
After that call, I grabbed some lunch while Kristen went to pump. Lunch was brought to Kristen in the NICU.
As I was eating, at 1:50, Kristen texted me to say that the surgery was done and he was coming back shortly. So I scarfed down my chicken quesadilla and hurried back to the NICU. I made it about 10 minutes before Sammy arrived. The total time away was about 1.5 hours – far less than the 2-3 hours they expected.
It took the nurses and doctors about 20 minutes to get him settled in and while that was happening Dr. Reinhartz came by to talk to us. He said the PDA was very large, but it was closed and the surgery went very smoothly without any complications at all. I later spoke to another cardiologist who checked, and said the PDA was “4+”, meaning it was more than 4mm. The PDA was originally 3mm and went down to 1.8, so hearing it was 4mm was very surprising. This other doctor said the PDA was actually larger than some of the main arteries going into the heart, so this surgery would make a big difference on his well-being.
Samuel had IV’s in each of his feet, and a central line into a main artery in his right arm. This would be used to take any blood samples they would need without sticking him anymore (he’s been stuck enough with needles!). He also had a drainage line coming from his left side, near where the incision was made. He needs this for any swelling that may take place, so it’s a relief valve of sorts. And finally he had a breathing tube down his throat.
When he came out of surgery, he wasn’t doing any breathing on his own – the ventilator was doing everything for him. He just had too much medicine in him. When we called about 8:30pm on Tuesday to check on him, the breathing tube wasn’t doing anything – it was all Sammy. Maybe they’ll take it out tomorrow.
Kristen and I stayed for a bit of time after he came out, but we realized quickly there wouldn’t be much for us to do. He needed rest and wasn’t going to be able to interact with us, so we went to meet my dad, Melinda and Jacob over in Charlie’s room in Walnut Creek.
Hopefully we’ll start to see Samuel show signs of improvement on Wednesday. We can’t wait to get him back to Walnut Creek, and then finally to our house.