This is the surgery Dr Hanley will be performing on Kiran. The first step will be to address his MAPCAs (major aortopulmonary collateral arteries). Dr Hanley generally does this surgery in the 4-6 month range, but because Kiran has been so clinically stable, he got the benefit of growing and will be 10 1/2 months old on surgery day.
As with most things on our CHD journey, it is a double edged sword. Because he is older, his body has had more time to continue to compensate for his special heart, so he has been creating more and more MAPCAs, making that part of the surgery more difficult in some ways. I would like to think it is also beneficial, in that Dr Hanley will have more arteries to choose from to make better pathways from the heart to the lungs.
If this part of surgery is successful and the pressures in the newly formed arteries are good, a full repair can be done on Kiran’s heart. This means we would hopefully not have to have another open heart surgery in the next several years – perhaps ever – depending on how his journey plays out.
What it doesn’t mean is that Kiran will be fixed or cured. Full repair is misleading. CHD is a lifelong journey. Kiran will always need to have checkups with a cardiologist and will likely continue to need help with feeding and development. There will be cardiac catheterization procedures in his future. We may not be able to avoid other open heart surgeries. We just don’t have the answers until we keep taking the next steps.
But our medical journey will not end on surgery day. It will just be beginning. This is a big step, but it is just the next step for Kiran and our family.
This video is a great look at the surgery that will be performed, and it really helps the non-medical mind understand his condition a bit better.