Monday, November 20, 2006

Surgery Update

Ellie is out of surgery, awake and alert. She is groggy as you might expect after 6 hours under anesthesia but she is up and Abby is holding her.

Ellie went to the surgical floor at 11 this morning. At noon she went in to the OR. Abby and I adjourned to my parents hotel room across the street.

At 3:30 the surgeon called us to give us the update and we went back to the hospital.

What he found:

Ellie’s bowel is longer than we had been told in the past. In June, we were told that she had around 30 cm of small bowel, which is very ‘critically’ short. Today’s surgeon measured her bowel and told us that over all she had 56 cm of bowel that absorbs nutrients, and only 10 cm is lazy with limited motility. This is really good news for us.

She had two obvious tightenings in her small bowel that had dilated portions above them. The surgeon opened these and we hope that it will allow the dilated parts to come down.

Her bowel is still very large, and in some places it is close to 4 cm (a little less than 2 inches) across. Fortunately, the surgeon emptied her bowel contents and saw that the bowel was moving well when it was allowed to be empty. This is a good sign.

At 4 PM, the surgeon went back in to replumb her bowel and we have just gotten a call at 5 PM to tell us that things are moving along well and expected to be done a little after 6.

At 6:30 we got the final report from the surgeona nd anesthesiologist who told us that things are good and that she is recovering well.

At 7:30 we went in to see her and she is doing well with the usual complement of wires, tubes and other assorted equipment that will be pared down in the next few days. A tube in the nose, an EKG monitor, a foley catheter in her diaper.

And one whopping big old nasty ostomy in her belly. Red scary and puffy, it is the size of a fifty cent piece and right now it sticks out about half an inch into the ostomy bag. we are very glad that we waited to do this with a big baby instead of a tiny one. That ostomy would have been huge a few months ago. Now it seems to be normal.

We will be back in Ellie’s room tonight after some time in the PACU (Post Anesthetic Care Unit). we managed to get ourselves one of Ellie's A-team nurses for the night and she only has Ellie as her overnight assignment.

We will have videos and pictures (internal and external) to share later on.

After a lull of activity in the land of Ellie and this blog, let the next chapter begin. Hopefully it will end with a triumpant exit as we moonwalk out the door.


Ben April said...

Way to go Ellie!!! We are all breathing again in New Hampshire.

Unknown said...

Three cheers for 56cm! (That's about 18 1/2 cm per cheer). Sounds like a great move. Looking forward to the moonwalking video.

mini and brother said...

We've thought about Ellie all day here in AZ. Great news about the 56cm, we had an ostomy bag for a while and it's not the worst thing in the world. You guys are amazing.

Jess said...

Thank you for the update! I've been on the edge of my seat all day, but I knew she'd kick ass (I think she gets it from her parents)!

Barbara Krause said...

I'm so glad I checked the blog again this evening. Awesome, Ellie! Thanks so much, Gib and Abby, for taking the time to update all your readers after what must have been an exhausting day. I called Jack and Mahtha on Wednesday but they had already left. I'm thinking of you all