14 April 2017

Colostomy Reversal Surgery Success!

Very early yesterday morning, Brian and the kids and I arrived at Children's Medical Center in Dallas to admit Bennett to surgery for his colostomy reversal/reanastomosis.

It was worrisome that after 30 minutes I hadn't received an update from the OR.  But then, about 15 minutes later, we received a call that the doctor was ready to see us.  We went to a small consult room to talk to the doctor. One of the very first things he said to us when he came in was: "well, it went easier than expected!"

(Picture above: a bandage near Bennett's belly button covers where the surgeon closed up Bennett's stoma/colostomy.  The discolored skin in a 4-5" big circle around the bandage is where the colostomy bag used to daily stick to his skin.  Bennett's g-tube sits above his bandage.)

Something I haven't blogged about but is worth mentioning is that about a month ago, one Sunday morning Brian and I experienced what we thought was an emergency with Bennett.  We packed up the kids and two cars in a rush and headed to Children's Medical Center.  Bennett's stoma (the part of his intestine pulled to the outside of the body) had started to shrink and retract inside the the minute.  I was literally watching his stoma/colostomy disappear.  In addition, that morning, Bennett had started exhibiting another alarming symptom: he had begun pooping from his bottom (wait, is even he supposed to be able to do that??)  Just as we were 20 minutes out of the town headed towards Dallas, Bennett's surgeon called me on the road to say: not only is this ok, it's really really good news.  The doctor explained that Bennett's body was naturally repairing itself.  The intestinal tissue above the skin was going back inside naturally, a sign the body wants to work properly.  Bennett was starting to poop normally because enough inflammation had gone down so he could go to the bathroom normally.

This is most significant because one of the reasons yesterday's surgery went so well was because the intestinal tissue was in such good condition (as it had tucked itself back inside the body for the last few weeks) making it super easy for the surgeon to repair.  The surgeon had fully expected to have to cut out a part of his bowel during surgery yesterday.  But, because the body had basically already reversed itself weeks ago, the only thing the surgeon needed to do was detach the bowel from the skin and sew up the hole in his belly.  Brian and I were so very happy.


An easier surgery typically leads to an easier recovery.  And that's what we have experienced as well.
Bennett's doctors and I having been talking for weeks ago about how we could help Bennett have a swift and pain-free recovery this time around.  We proactively planned to get him off of opioids as soon as possible and to hold back solid foods until it was overwhelmingly clear his body was ready.  This was to prevent an ileus (further paralyzation of Bennett's bowels).  Both efforts have seemed to work well.

Waiting to eat has been the hardest for Bennett since Bennett hadn't eaten since Tuesday.  Thankfully, this morning we got the green light to start eating today, day 2.  The surgeon feels like if today goes well, we can go home by tomorrow.  Being home for Easter would be really really great and earlier than expected! Yay for more good surprises!!!

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