Michaela, our 3 year old with a congenital heart defect, had a good heart surgery last week at Stanford. Amazingly, they were able to perform this procedure without putting her on bypass, and without lowering her body/brain temerature to ~16°C!!! This has made an enormous difference on her recovery, which seems to be progressing along swimmingly.
They were, however, suprized to find an infection that had been "simmering away for the last 2½ years", encased within some scar tissue. This was on an abandoned Gore-Tex shunt that joined her right ventricle to her pulmonary artery that was left inside after her second heart surgery. In other words, it had been contaminated by her previous surgeon!!! Had this inflamed and burst it's cocoon, it would surely have been fatal for her, and it could have happened at ANY time.
Of course, there are a number of complications, like having all her IV-sites blown, and a possible temporary or permanant vocal chord paralyzed, and still having oxygen saturations in the 65-70% range, rather than the upper 80's (you and I are at about 100%...give or take). But it is still early in the recovery process and she looks marvelously well. Very little swelling and warm hands/feet for the first time in her life. Here she is after a visit from Grandma.
Labels: congential, defect, heart, HLHS, surgery