30 April, 2008

Surgery time: 1:00 PM, Tomorrow

Samuel's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00 PM. He'll need to be there at 11:00a and won't be able to drink anything after 10a. He can't have anything to eat after midnight tonight. The nurse that prepped us told us to let him eat whatever and as much as he wants tonight.

We were pulling out of the hospital parking lot today at 11:30a. The pre-op visit went much faster than we had imagined. We ended up not meeting with any doctors at all. We spoke with one nurse who checked Samuel over for general health and filled us all in on the general details.

A second nurse came in and had Samuel leave to go sit in the waiting area while she filled us in on the specifics of the surgery. We have learned that they will do the removal of tissue from the right ventricle by cutting into the right atrium.

There are some challenges in this procedure, aside from the obvious stuff, "uh, ya - we're gonna stop his heart and have a machine do the work for his body while we do this..." They have to cut out enough tissue to relieve / reduce the gradient from the right ventricle. They also have to make sure to not cut out too much material as there are electrical circuits that regulate the heart in this area. She noted that there is a potential that if this happens, he would leave the hospital with a pace-maker.

Also, as for risks, there are some nerves that run off the heart that could impact his speech, but if there was any damage, he would just be hoarse and that should clear up in a few weeks. There are also nerves that run down either side of the heart. The one on his right side they could run close to and they will take care of this. I forget the details of what that nerve does, but it was reasonably benign and not a likely cause of great concern.

I'm guessing we heard a lot of this 15 years ago. The anxiety is new, because that was 15 years ago. There are of course all sorts of other risks, some of them we won't touch on. Either way, it's the data they need to make sure that parents or patients are aware of so that if there is an issue, they are covered.

From all of us, to you our friends, and in particular, to Samuel's classmates, swim team mates, and his teachers,Thank you for all of your prayers and wishes.

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