At rounds this morning the doctors informed us that Elias will indeed need to stay inpatient at least until the Aortopexy surgery is complete and proves to be successful. They simply do not feel Elias’ airway is stable enough and needs to be very closely monitored here. Yet another indicator towards how serious an issue this has become. After our update yesterday we talked with the surgical team. The schedulers were working on finding a slot for Elias, but it appeared as though the earliest will be next Monday. That means we are looking at another 10-14 days in the hospital. We had to cancel another pediatrician appointment for tomorrow. Maybe one day we will make it there.
We found out a little more about the surgery itself and the recovery. The hope is to do it with scopes and minimal invasion. A bronchoscopy will monitor the surgery and another scope (the name escapes me) that is much like the laparoscopic technique is used to perform the actual work. They will carefully pull the right side arch aorta up and attach it to the top of the breast bone with sutures. They may or may not need to do anything with the aberrant subclavian artery as the two are on either side of the trachea compressing it. Usually releasing one is enough, but that is typical and they know Elias is anything but that. So they are reviewing the CT-scans and models built from it to develop a plan and how to manage the subclavian if necessary. After the surgery Elias will be admitted into he Intensive Care Unit for 24-48 hours mainly to monitor for complications since the surgery involves handling one of the hearts major arteries. He will remain on the ventilator for at least 12 hours post surgery, but not to be surprised if it was overnight into the next morning. They will gradually wean him off and will not be in too big a rush to do so. This way Elias’ body does not have to work as hard. After he stabilizes they will reevaluate and probably move him back to the complex airway unit. He was hesitant to quote me a time frame for the length of surgery since he had not had the opportunity to see all the scans. As soon as we know a date and time we will share it with you. We will need lots of prayers for steady hands and rapid recovery, but also that this is the right course and we see improvement.
Elias is doing fairly well all things considered. He was really exhausted yesterday and the coughing fits he was having from the swelling and irritation of the bronchoscopy were not really helping. We have been told that we can take Elias for a walk in his stroller, especially since we are stuck here another week. We are holding up as well as can be expected. We are exhausted, ready to be home and very concerned about Elias. We will keep you posted!