Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Post-Op Update

I was completely exhausted yesterday, so I never updated after the surgery.
The procedure started at 12:04, and the doctor came out to talk with us around 12:25.  I was shocked!  He said CJ did great.  There was no bone growth around the bar, and they were able to just straighten it a little and pull it out as planned.
We were able to go back to recovery once he woke up a little bit.  Sitting on the bed with him was his pectus bar!  Thankfully, they had cleaned it up really well for us!  It's narrower than we expected.  Here it is:
The recovery nurse gave him some apple juice and vanilla wafers.  He needed some food in his stomach before taking the oral pain medication.  He needed to have good pain management on the oral medication before we could be released.  We stayed in recovery until almost 2:30.  At that time, we were discharged and able to head home! 
CJ spent the rest of the day alternating between sleeping and eating.  I think he was making up for all the eating he couldn't do between midnight and after the surgery!  (He is a teenage boy, after all!)  We were told to avoid heavy/fried foods for a while until his digestive system was able to get the anesthesia completely out of its system, because it could have caused nausea.  Otherwise, there were no restrictions on his diet.
He had some pain and a little swelling at the left incision site, but they said to expect that. That was the side the stabilizer was on.  I don't know if that's why that side was more swollen & sore, or if maybe that was the side the bar was pulled out.  Overall, though, the pain meds were doing their job.
CJ slept through the night without needing additional pain meds.  He woke up around 9:45AM asking for some, though.  The incision sites look good.  He still has some swelling & tenderness on the left side, but it's nothing to worry about.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Today's the Day!

It's finally time for this journey to end.  We arrived at the hospital and checked in at 10:00AM.  CJ's surgery was scheduled for 11:30.  They did the usual height/weight/BP stuff, then they took us to pre-op where we met with the anesthesiologist, had the IV put in, and saw the surgeon.  CJ reiterated to just about everyone that he wanted to keep the bar...looks like that is going to happen.  LOL!

Thankfully, things were running fairly on schedule, and they took him back just after 11:30.  The procedure should take about 30-45 minutes.  There is a possibility that some bone has grown around the bar.  If that is the case, it may take a little longer, because they will need to chisel around the bar to get it out.  Overall, though, it's a fairly simple procedure of straightening the bar, and pulling it out.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Three Years & Time to Come Out!

Wow!  It's hard to believe it's been 3 years since CJ had his bar put in!  A lot has changed in 3 years:  CJ has grown to 5'10" and become quite an amazing & active young man.  He's driving, has a job, and just finished his sophomore year of high school.
He's gained a lot of weight, too.  Many children with PE tend to be below average in their weight.  This was the case with CJ.  He was always very thin, but his weight is now in the average range.  Whenever he had growth spurts, he would have twinges in the bar area, but it was never really bad or long lasting. 
Last week, we went to the surgeon for CJ's 3-year follow-up.  The x-ray showed everything was perfect, and the doctor OK'd scheduling the bar removal!  They asked when we'd like to schedule it, and we joked that having it done that afternoon would be great!  They weren't quite ready for that, so in two weeks, we'll check in for the procedure. 
Believe it or not, the removal of the bar is an outpatient procedure!  The surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the bar (probably where the scars already are), remove the stabilizer that helped hold the bar in place, straighten the bar slightly, and pull it out!  It should be a fairly quick procedure, and we'll be able to take CJ home after spending some time in recovery.  The doc also said he should be able to be back to normal activities within a couple of days!  That's just amazing to me.  Pain management shouldn't be an issue, either.
As with any procedure, there are some risks.  The bar could cause some damage to the heart or lungs, but those are very rare complications.  And of course, there is the risk of infection (we know all about that one!), but the doctor said that having a foreign body put INTO you poses a greater risk of infection than one coming OUT.  :)  We are trusting and praying that we have no complications this time around!
I will post again on surgery day.