Cyst removal

Namine’s cyst removal was successful, but she did not have either hernia removed.

Hospital Surgery room

Namine hasn’t been sedated since 2014, when she had a frenulectomy. The last major surgery she had was the Fontan, her third heart surgery. Consequently, we approached today with trepidation. Nevertheless, we recognized the necessity for addressing the cyst and hernias. It’s important not only to relieve the pain Namine has been in, consistently, since May of last year, but also to prevent even more complications down the line.

Pre-surgery discussions

Before surgery, we met with the team who would be working on Namine today. With many mysteries to be explained, there were two surgeons and a gynecologist. Scans have still not explained the state of Namine’s reproductive system, the formation and growth of which was affected by her caudal regression. Discovering that was the first step, followed by the excision of her ovarian cyst — if it was a cyst.

The likelihood was that the cause of Namine’s abdominal pain was a cyst on her right ovary, but there was also the possibility that it was a dilated (fluid-filled) fallopian tube. In the latter case, the entire tube would have to be removed. A doctor explained to Namine that if it was the fallopian tube, the entire thing would be removed; it was likely dead. This would remove the possibility, later in life, of developing a cancer in the area.

Lastly, the doctors planned to fix the left hernia. This was conditional upon several circumstances, not the least of which is how long everything prior has taken. They did not want to keep Namine unconscious for longer than six hours, and there was already much to do. Further complicating matters was the kind of surgery: ideally, everything would be done laparoscopically, which is minimally invasive. With Namine being a cardiac patient, it was possible her heart would not tolerate it, forcing the doctors to make a large incision. As a result, there was the very real possibility that the hernias would remain unaddressed by the day’s end.

Surgery results

We received the good news early on that Namine responded well to the start of the laparoscopic procedure, allowing the doctors to keep trauma to her body at a minimum. That was still not inconsequential, as she was in quite a lot of pain when she woke up.

After the procedure was complete, we received the full update from the doctors. Namine did, as suspected, have a horned uterus — one that did not fuse completely, resulting in a deep indentation in the top of the uterus. They had removed a portion of the right side of her uterus, along with the right fallopian tube and ovary. That entire portion was red and inflamed, and likely the cause of the majority, if not the entirety, of Namine’s abdominal pain.

Namine was in the operating room for roughly five and a half hours, give or take. It took that entire time for the gynecologist to unravel the mysteries of her reproductive system and the surgeons to remove the nonfunctioning parts. There was no time to address the left hernia, leaving that for a different operation on a different day.

After Namine was brought to her room in the ICU, her nurse noticed that her heart was skipping beats. It wasn’t enough to be considered dangerous, but it was enough to warrant keeping a close eye on. Cardiology was notified, and over time the skips occurred less and less. She’s still being monitored, and we’ll speak with all the doctors following her in the morning.

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