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Surgery Update

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bennett isn't out of surgery yet but we've had a few updates we can share...

* About 45 minutes into the surgery, we received a call from the OR stating that the doctors had had some trouble intubating Bennett.  Shortly after, a doctor came and spoke with us more.  Apparently, Bennett has what is called tracheal stenosis.  It's basically a narrowing of the trachea and can be caused by scar tissue from previous intubations from previous surgeries.  This not terrible but it is something we are glad we have learned as it could cause him breathing trouble in the future.  Every time someone, particularly a child, is intubated with a tube down their throat, the trachea can be scarred.  If not careful, scarring and swelling of the throat can occur risking the ability to breathe.  Bennett has been intubated several times in his life, so doctors must be careful in the future to not damage Bennett's trachea during future surgeries.  In addition, we must watch for respiratory issues that do not have a reason otherwise as it may be due to this tracheal stenosis. (On a side note, the ENT doc did not believe Bennett's tracheal stenosis has anything to do with his previous trachealmalasia, which was diagnosed at birth, as his trachealmalasia has healed on its own.)

* Around 1pm, the Dental Surgeon came to tell us he was done with his portion of the surgery.  Apparently, he gave Bennett eight crowns and one baby tooth root canal.  Ugh, it hurts just thinking about it!!  The good thing is he was able to take good x-rays of Bennett's teeth and was able to give him a very good cleaning.  Unfortunately, he will have eight silver spots in his mouth.  At least they were all in the back.  The Dental Surgeon recommended that we not give Bennett any sticky or gummy foods now that he has those crowns.  I said, "for how long?"  He said, "until his teeth fall out."  I asked, "so you mean, he can't have gummies or gum until he's 11??"  He hesitated and agreed it was likely unrealistic but did recommend that we not do anything to minimize the strength of the crowns on Bennett's teeth.  So, I suppose we will do our best with this request.  (Too bad Bennett's favorite candy in the world are Cherry Gummies.)

* At 2pm, the doctors began his rectal prolapse surgery.  A very short time after beginning the surgery, the Pediatric Surgeon came to speak with Brian and me.  The surgeon stated she was having trouble pulling his bowel out of his body to operate on before it would shrink back into his body (the way all of our bowels should behave.)  This indicates that his issues with rectal prolapse may be more due to Bennett himself actually applying too much pressure to his own bowel rather than due to an issue of Bennett's bowel being too loose or not being attached to his body correctly.  The Pediatric Surgeon said Bennett's sphincter muscle seems must firmer than it was a year ago (apparently, before the bowel was so loose it would just fall on its on very easily).  So, all in all, the Surgeon, very pleased with Bennett's progress since last year's surgery, believes Bennett's issues with his rectum, at this point, may be more benign than we first thought.  The Surgeon genuinely tried to repair the bowel but, due to the bowels' natural desire to stay in place, the surgery simply may simply not make sense.  Stopping the surgery and deciding to speak with us, the Pediatric Surgeon gave us two options 1.) she could do nothing and we could just continue to observe it or 2.) she could place injections that would create scar tissue around the bottom of the bowel, hopefully, making it more difficult for the bowel to prolapse.

* Brian and I decided to go forward with the injections so as to try to prevent the prolapse from happening again (our greatest desire for Bennett).  But we also agreed that it makes sense not to try to do the altemeier procedure on the bowel if there is nothing anatomically wrong.  Since Bennett's issues with rectal prolapse are so chronic, the doctor feels like his rectal prolapse is less concerning to her in so far as Bennett potentially losing his bowel (typically the most threatening issue of this condition).  To solve this issue, what we may end up having to do is teach our three year old how to successfully relax his bottom and/or how to push his own bowel back in his body.  This should be very interesting...  

* Since Bennett is not having to undergo the most invasive part of his surgery, afterall.  There isn't likely a need to observe him overnight.  This means there is a good chance we will actually be able to come home today.  So, we are waiting for the surgery to finish up and then we will meet our boy in the recovery room.  Brian and I are very happy with what has gone on today and thrilled that we may be able to sleep in our own beds tonight.  This has been a long surgery but we believe it has been successful and will hopefully help Bennett feel better!!

We will update again soon after we see him!

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