Surgery Tomorrow

Time with Friends

We made it to Houston on Monday early morning and were able to get some rest before starting our day on Tuesday.  Roy was able to meet up with a good friend for the day while Reiss and I visited the zoo, then met up with them later. Reiss had a great time at the zoo, but also with her buddy G.


Pre-Op Appointments

This morning we started our pre-op appointments at Texas Children’s Hospital with an EKG, blood work, and a general check-up, as well as meetings with the Nurse Practitioner, Child Life specialist, Social Worker, and Anesthesiologist.

Reiss did a good job throughout these appointments. There was a little drama with the blood draw. She was scared and it most definitely showed.  We were able to talk her through it, though, and in the end all was fine.

Surgery Schedule

We also got the surgery schedule and eating specs for tomorrow morning. Here is how it is lined out

  • No solids after midnight
  • Clear fluids until 3am
  • Be at the hospital by 5:30am
  • Surgery at 7:15am
  • Length of Surgery:  8-10 hours
    • Hour 1- 1.5 – getting her situated, IV in, etc
    • Hour 1.5-2.5 – dissection, getting through her scar tissue
    • Hour 2.5-3.5 – getting her on bypass
    • Hour 3.5-4.5 – when they actually start the procedure
  • Updates every 1.5 hours (or sooner if we choose)

Type of repair: We are still unsure of which repair the surgeon will choose.  He will make the decision after she is on the table.

What to expect post-surgery:  The Nurse Practitioner (NP), Tammy, thought she would most likely come out of surgery intubated and sedated.  We should not be surprised if she stays that way until Thursday morning.

Additionally, we are to not be surprised if she comes out of surgery with an open sternum. Because of the length of time she will be on the heart/lung machine, she will be at a higher risk for swelling (a side effect of being on bypass).  The doctors could go ahead and sew her up, but if they do that and she swells, the swelling will put pressure on her heart.  A more proactive approach is to keep the wound open, wait for the swelling to decrease, then go back in to close the wound.  This could be anywhere from 1 to 3 days time.  Until then, she will be intubated and sedated.

Risks:  The normal risks include infection, bleeding, arrhythmia,  heart block requiring a permanent pacemaker, need for future surgery, risk of organ damage or  death (2% chance).

Surgery Eve

We are staying busy this evening – changing our Facebook and Twitter profiles orange to show our support for #TeamReiss, sitting overwhelmed with the support on the #TeamReiss Go Fund Me page,  talking about how the Prayer Circle went in Marshfield today, and just spending time with Reiss, as well as Mama Gay, Papa Mark, and Mama Cindy, who arrived earlier this evening.

It is feeling more real the closer we get to surgery.  It started with the NP telling us about intubation, sedation, and an open sternum.  We were not ready for that news and it hit hard.

The Reiss we know today – hyper, running, squirmy, stubborn, funny – will not be lucid tomorrow. She will have cords and tubes and things. Bandaids and bandages. Open wounds and monitors.  Our hearts are not ready for this.  It will be a battle of emotions until she comes out of sedation 24-72 hours later.

We are not ready for this. There is no way to prepare for the unknown – the type of procedure, how she will respond, what we will see, etc. Luckily, we have an amazing support system, with the heart of it being at our side in Texas.

Please pray for us throughout the day tomorrow as we learn what is and isn’t happening with Reiss, what procedure they chose, and how well she is going. Please continue to pray when we have her back to the room and start to move through recovery.

Thank you for following us, supporting us – no matter how big or small, and praying for us.




One thought on “Surgery Tomorrow

  1. We will be praying for Reiss, you, Roy and the family. We pray that God takes control over this surgery and he works through the surgeons and guides them.
    You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

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