Saturday, November 20, 2010

Emergency Surgery

Elias is now in ICU recovering from his emergency surgery. To follow up on the previous update, he was taken for the CT scan at 9 pm. Once he was done he was rushed into the operating room for emergency surgery on his bowels. The CT scan confirmed the mass that has been around the incision and stomach was indeed a hernia of the bowels. At some point they slipped up in between the muscle and was protruding and pushing up on his skin. The surgeons came and spoke with us while they prepped the operating room. They had no idea what they were going to find until they cut him open. They told us they had no idea how long it would take and what action they ultimately decide on again until the saw for themselves the inside. The surgery took several hours and it was almost 1 am before they came out to tell us they were completed. Sadly the colostomy had to be put back in place. The anastomosis, which is the area where the two portions of colon were reconnected from the colostomy is simply too narrow to allow anything, including gas to flow normally. The safest option was to put the colostomy back. The bowel had indeed receded and pushed its way up and fortunately it was caught before any perforation or damage occurred. The positive side to this is the surgeon noticed a section further down the bowel that is wider that he can in the future try again to reverse the colostomy. This can be evaluated again as an option after 3-6 months of healing. Honestly, after all that has happened the past 2 weeks now is not even the time to think about that potential, though it was nice to hear the positive feedback.

It has been a very long, emotionally draining and frightening day. This was suppose to be something to improve his quality of life and we suppose it still can be, but for him to have gone through all this to ultimately walk back out with a colostomy in place covers a wide spectrum of feelings and concerns. We are still waiting for the cultures as well, but Elias is on a much broader set of antibiotics until the source of issue is narrowed. It is possible that all this bowel issue caused the high fevers. That would be great if it was. It is still unclear how long Elias will remain in the PICU. We will have a better idea in the morning. It is also unclear how much longer we will be in the hospital in general. At least 2-3 days for post-op antibiotics and the pending culture results. Despite all the frightening moments and serious concern coupled by the fact we went backwards by redoing the colostomy, the bottom line is Elias is safer and on a path to comfort. That is the most important piece that we carry away from this. It was more the way he has suffered the past two weeks that gives us what we know is unfounded guilt, yet we have it anyway. Thank you all so very much for your thoughts and prayers today. It has provided us with much needed strength and focus.

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