Well, the time has come to go back up to St. Louis for another catheter procedure. The cardiologists in Springfield and St. Louis both agree that her stats are trending down and it will be necessary to widen the stent to allow her to grow more before the complete repair. We have an appointment on January 8, then the cath procedure on the 9th.
Seeing the signs
Reiss’s oxygen saturation levels have been decreasing over the past three months. We have also seen her color switch to a more bluish color around her lips and in her extremities – especially when she is upset. She has also grown more lethargic and fussy as her stats have decreased. As an 11 pound baby, she should be eating around 5 1/2 ounces per feeding. Her little body is working so hard just to pump blood, feeding works it even harder and wears her down quickly. Right now she eats only 3 to 4 ounces per feeding and is sleepy afterwards.
Widening the stent
We are assuming the catheter procedure will be similar to her first one, but will not know for sure until after meeting with the doctors. The three hour procedure will entail inserting the catheter into an artery in the leg and weaving it up into the existing stent in her PDA. The doctors will then inflate the balloon to widen the stent.
We will go up to St. Louis on January 8 for a “pre-visit” with the doctors. At this visit we will learn more about the plan of action, time of the procedure on the 9th and length of stay.
The widening of the stent will hopefully help increase her oxygen saturation levels, allow her to be strong enough to eat more per feeding and also help her to not be so lethargic during the day. It is possible that while the widening may increase her oxygen levels in the interim, we may see another decrease as Reiss continues to grow as the stent stays the same size. The goal is to widen the stent to where her levels do not decrease too much before the complete repair at six months.
Please keep baby Reiss in your prayers!
Sara, Roy, Reiss
Here are some of our latest pictures.