Friday, July 2, 2010

It's a Yes for Surgery

We made our trip to Primary Children's Medical Center again today for Megan's follow-up appointment with the pediatric urologist. If you would like (or just can't remember) more information on her condition, you can read this post from January.

There were actually two appointments today--one in Medical Imaging to run the tests again, then one with the urologist to discuss the results and treatment plan. First on the to-do list was the ultrasound. Megan, apparently, did just great. I wasn't so convinced as she screamed and squirmed for the entire second half, but the radiologist said she did worlds better than a lot of the kids her size. So, good for her, I guess!

The second test is called the nuclear medicine test (doesn't the word nuclear just sound bad?). That was less exciting to watch...she is just gearing up for a good scream in this picture.

Those bags on her arms were quite heavy and kept her arms immobile throughout the procedure. They inserted a catheter, then filled her bladder with the medicine. So not fun! The technician then strapped her legs to the table and placed another of the bags across her abdomen so she stayed as absolutely still as possible while she was under the machine.

Thank goodness for children's hospitals. They turned on Baby Einstein for her to watch. The tv was right at her level and on a wheeled cart so it stayed right with her as she moved with the table. And, thank goodness, she could have a bottle. Those two things kept her mostly content once they stopped messing with her. And yes, I always stop in situations like this to take pictures.

The ultrasound showed that there is no permanent damage to her kidneys from repeated urinary tract infections--yay! But the nuclear test showed that the reflux is still going strong--very little improvement, if any.


The surgery is scheduled for the end of July. Basically, again in completely unmedical terms, they are going to detach the ureters (the tubes that go between the kidneys and bladder) and reattach them higher on the bladder wall. They will also tunnel them through a larger portion of the bladder wall, allowing for more muscle to help close off the tubes (which is what isn't happening now).

They will have to make about a one-inch incision. It will look huge on Megan now, but over time it will seem very small. She will have to stay in the hospital for one night minimum, more if she doesn't respond well to the anesthesia or whatnot. The doctor said most kids end up staying two nights.

And now you're wondering...

Am I worried about this? No. Am I nervous? At the moment, no, although I can't vouch for how I will feel the day of. I wouldn't necessarily pick surgery for my nine-month-old baby, but I also don't want her to be taking antibiotics for years to come and still have lingering problems for the rest of her life.

The surgery is a 99% effective, it's being done at one of the top children's hospitals in the world, and the operation is being performed by the chief of surgery. If we're going to do this, I think we're doing it the best way we can. So no, I'm not worried. I think this is good.


Rebekah said...

Oh man, I don't think I can imagine anything worse than a baby needing surgery. I had major skull surgery when I was five months old and then several more various surgeries throughout childhood. My parents had a really hard time with it, but they, too, were grateful that my surgery was done at an awesome hospital with super surgeons. All the same, however, I will be praying for Megan :)

pawlyandsandy said...

Sorry to hear about the surgery, but I KNOW that Megan's in good hands. I did a year of clinicals in Radiology at Primary Children's and I'm convinced that they are an exceptional hospital! I would take my child there for sure!!!

good luck with the surgery!

Britta said...

I cried thinking about the procedures they did today! I can't imagine strapping either of my girls down and listening to them scream, even if it were for their own good. Sadness. But I too am glad everything is being done with great doctors and at a good hospital.

Good luck with everything!

Liz, Karl and Madison said...

Holy cow! That is so crazy. I'm glad you are not worried though. I understand the part about feeling good about having it done- the worste part for me would be to just watch them go through all the junk that comes with surgery. I absolutely hated watching Maddie go in to get tubes and that was not even close to this. So way to be a strong mommy!

Rebecca said...

Oh man, I'm so sorry! The post you made in January was right after I had my baby and I missed a lot in the blogging world for about that first I had no idea about this! Good luck with everything. I'm so glad Megan will be getting this done at such a great hospital and with a great doctor. We will be keeping Megan in our prayers.

Molly said...

good for you! It was hard for me when Nixon had his eye surgery, but, it was for the best. =)

Kym, Shaun and Riley said...

Oh my gosh, Laura!!! That sounds awful!!! Poor Megan!!! I hope that the surgery fixes her problem. Sounds like she's a tough little woman.