Friday, September 4, 2009
Alexis's surgery details
Yesterday Alexis had her cardiologist appointment. Since she's almost 5 months old and has put on a bit more weight (now at 10 lbs, 8 oz), Dr. K decided the time had come to schedule her heart surgery. (For those who don't know, a week before she was discharged from the NICU, she was diagnosed with a VSD--a large hole in her heart, that requires surgery to repair.)
I met with Sara, the nurse practitioner, who was able to tell me what to expect. On Monday, September 21, she will have her pre-op appointment where she will have some tests done (EKG), blood drawn, x-ray, and will be seen by the cardiologist and the surgeon. We will also have to sign paperwork and consent forms. It ought to take about 3 hours. At a later time we will be told at what time she has to stop eating on the night of the 21st. Ugh. She will be home with us that night and then report to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital (at St. Vincents) first thing in the morning on Sept. 22. Again, I don't know any times yet.
An hour or two before the surgery, Alexis will be sedated and they will then intubate her, put in any IV's, a catheter, etc. Family will have to wait in the waiting room but Jason and I will be able to go with her when she's taken to the surgical area. When she goes to the operating room, we will then be taken to the surgery waiting area. The surgery may take up to 4 hours.
After the surgery, Alexis will be taken to her private room in the PICU (Pediatric ICU). Hopefully they will be able to take out her ventilator later that day and maybe even eat later that day. I believe she is expected to be in the PICU for a day or two, and assuming everything goes well, she will then be moved to the Pediatric Unit. Most kids with this surgery stay in the hospital for 7-10 days.
One parent is able to sleep in Lexi's room with her. 2-3 visitors are allowed at a time but they may very well limit this with flu season approaching (who are we kidding. Flu season is here! Have you seen the news lately?) Siblings are the only kids allowed to visit. If you have even a hint of a cough or a sniffle, PLEASE DON'T COME!!! With Alexis expected to be in the hospital for only a week, I'm fine (again, back to that flu paranoia of mine) with no visitors coming (grandparents are the obvious exception) just to play it safe. Once she's healed and we're home, the masses are welcome. But I'm not cooking.