Surgery preparedness

We met virtually with the doctor organizing Namine’s upcoming three-part surgery.

view of operating room

We’ve already shared much of what will happen when Namine has her three-part surgery. The long and short of it is that Namine has a cyst on her right ovary which needs to be removed, and two hernias — one on the right and one on the left — which need to be repaired.

view of operating room

We met virtually with the surgeon who has been following Namine since we brought her into the ER. (Thankfully, we didn’t have to go into Milwaukee just to speak with him.) Much of the original plan for surgery remains the same, but at the same time there need to be contingency plans in place.

The priority remains the removal of the ovarian cyst. In the event that it is infected, that will be the end of the first procedure. Doctors will want to ensure all infection has cleared up before repairing either of the hernias. Doing so while infection still exists runs the risk of trapping the infection, and may in fact infect the mesh itself used to repair the hernias.

If there is no infection, the next step will be to repair the left hernia. The focus will start there, because that is the smaller and less complex of a repair. How Namine does with this one will also predict how she will do with the right side’s hernia.

Ideally, the hernia will be repaired laparoscopically. If done this way, only two small incisions will be made in Namine’s abdomen. In order to do a laparoscopic hernia repair, however, air is pumped into the abdominal region. This procedure is known to be difficult for cardiac patients to tolerate, and that is the unknown.

If Namine does not tolerate the air being pumped into her abdomen, the surgery will have to be done openly. This means that the the incision will be long, the surgery more invasive, and the recovery longer and more painful. Unfortunately, none of this will be known one way or another until she is asleep and the operation has begun.

In the best case scenario, Namine will have a minimum of two, possibly one, surgery dates. It also depends on how long it takes to repair the left hernia. Being the less complex a fix of the two, it will still give doctors an idea of how she will do with the right. With Namine’s most recent hospital stay and having trouble bringing her oxygenation back up on her own, there is also concern for keeping her asleep too long.

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