We discussed surgery timing a bit more today, and we are tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning.
We’ve spoken extensively with neonatology and cardiology, and wanted to pass along our understanding of the issue as best we can.
When a baby is in the womb, blood flows through a vessel called the ductus arteriosus, bypassing the lungs. After birth, the ductus closes, usually within a few days, and blood begins to follow a new path where it can be oxygenated by the lungs.
Doctors suspected for Sam a part of this path, the aortic arch, had an abnormally narrow segment that would require surgical repair, but they could not be certain until after his ductus closed.
Tuesday night, Sam’s nurses and doctors at CDH began to see evidence that the ductus had closed, and that their suspicions about the arch were accurate. The most evident sign was a difference in blood pressure between Sam’s upper and lower body.
Another echocardiogram was done in the morning for further confirmation. Now that a diagnosis was confirmed, doctors began to administer a medication called prostaglandin that could re-open the ductus and buy us some time prior to surgery.
Unfortunately the prostaglandin has not been effective at reopening the ductus, so we do have limited time before the surgery needs to be completed. Sam will have another echocardiogram Monday morning to confirm the status of his ductus, but they are not optimistic that we will see any changes.
Surgery will need to be completed soon in order to prevent serious complications with intestines due to lack of blood flow in the lower half of the body.
We have a great team at Lurie Childrens that will perform the surgery. We will make sure to keep everyone updated if there are any changes between now and then.