So anyway, later in the day on Monday, Briana did come off of the oscillator, and was put on a respirator. It took her a while to adjust, she started out with 100% oxygen, but throughout Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, she adjusted and they were able to wean her settings down. She received steroid doses that lowered the inflammation in her lungs and along with Lasix, helped her to excrete some extra fluids.
She was looking good on Tuesday, and they told us that surgery was tentatively planned for Wednesday. Thennnn, after consulting with the cardiologist, they were going to wait for surgery. Her hypertension was still high, and they wanted to do another echocardiogram today, and if that looked good, perhaps surgery would be today, maybe Friday. OK. It was frustrating because we had to lower our excitement again, but if it was a better plan for Briana, so be it. Well, when we came in on Wednesday morning (yesterday), they told us surgery was back on for yesterday afternoon.
Apparently, her condition was not going to get any better until she had her surgery, so they decided to go ahead with it. Turn on the nervous switch again. Thankfully, a nurse that we love, Dee, was attending Briana yesterday, and it made everything so much easier to have her there. She made us feel much less anxious through the whole process. She switched out with another nurse before the surgery, so the new nurse could attend Briana during and after surgery, but Dee was still there throughout. We are very thankful to her for making the whole surgery easier to deal with.
We were hoping Dr. Ratner was going to do the surgery, but he was going to be out of town, so another surgeon in his group, Dr. Thayer, performed Briana's corrective surgery. We were able to consult with her before the surgery, and she was very good. We left the room about 3:00, and they told us it would be about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. At 4:45, a nurse came to tell us that everything was going well, but it would be a while longer. Well finally at 6:45, we were able to go see her. She did very well. They moved the abdominal organs successfully, and they used a Gortex patch to repair the diaphragm. She was obviously a little puffy, but she looked good. She has a 2 inch incision below her left armpit, and a chest tube for drainage. Her numbers were good, and she was on the same respirator settings that she was on before the surgery. HUGE...SIGH...OF...RELIEF!
As we learned before, we will celebrate somewhat quietly though, as there is still a long road ahead. We talked with the neonatologist in charge today, and she showed us the x-rays. Because the stomach organs are now removed from the chest cavity, there is an empty space. The body will not allow an empty cavity to exist, so what it does is fill with fluid. They now have to debate on which treatment to use to get rid of this fluid. As the neonatologist put it, it is as much an art as a science to take care of CDH babies. There are many possible bumps in the road ahead, each to be dealt with as they occur, and gradually, Briana will get stronger.
Thank you to everyone for your support.