Surgery: Broad Plan

We met with a cardiothoracic surgeon’s physician’s assistant today to go over the broad surgical plan for Wednesday.  First of all, let me say this: I continue to be impressed with everyone we meet at this hospital.  This woman was amazing.  Like Dr. Hanley, she was kind, patient, and intelligent.  Her explanations were clear and concise, and she took her time answering all of our questions.

First of all, she said there were no surprises.  His case, though complex (as they all are) isn’t anything they haven’t seen before.  She feels the surgery will fall somewhere in the middle as far as length of time.  Some surgeries apparently last until 5 a.m. the following morning – she felt Kiran’s surgery would be finished somewhere in the 7-10 p.m. timeframe.  Mind you, we check in at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, so this is an incredibly long day.  And, of course, she can only guess – so many factors play into how long the surgery will take.

As I stated before, Kiran has 4 MAPCAs.  She explained that, although his first cath only showed 2 MAPCAs, (not 3 as Dad thought) it is likely it is because the other two were too small to detect at that time.

It looks like he will need anywhere from 4 to 8 patches.  They will be slicing open the narrow arteries and essentially sewing in patches to create bigger arteries.  This will encourage heavier blood flow which will encourage his tissue to grow.  She said each patch takes approximately 2 hours.

She also went over all the possibilities of how Dr. Hanley will approach the surgery.  They have their big cardiac conference on Wednesday morning, so they will finalize his surgical plan before going into the OR.  We will know the specific plan that morning.  I am focusing only on the plan to go into the chest, address all of the MAPCAs, and do the full intercardiac repair.

The biggest thing really to take away from our meeting with her is similar to what Dr. Hanley said (only with the updated cath results from today): No surprises.  His anatomy is something they have seen many times.  She did not look at his case and think “Wow, this is going to be a really long, difficult day.”  She feels it will be middle of the line for time.

I do not say these things to minimize the risks.  There are serious risk possibilities.  This remains the most complex surgery they do.  But it is so encouraging to hear these things.  I am so glad I didn’t hear “He’s inoperable.” or “He’s the most complex case we’ve ever seen.”  I will count my blessings and hold onto all of this fantastic hope we have been given these last two days.

Kiran has proven, yet again, he is a fighter.  He is strong.  With Dr. Hanley’s hands and Kiran’s soul, we have a pretty powerful team.  I’m certainly rooting for them, with all of me.

5 days until surgery.


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