Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To Switch or Not to Switch....

Here's the update:

Nate totally rocked his appointment yesterday!  If you saw my update on Facebook, you'll know he did a fabulous job.  He was totally calm and quiet (seriously, no screams!!), he did exactly what was needed of him.  It was like a different boy!  I was SO pleased, if not surprised!

Everyone was surprised at his gradient.  Right after surgery, two years ago, we were at about 50-60, with the hopes that the pressure would increase as he grew.  Well, it didn't increase, and unfortunately decreased to around 30 a few months ago, and was holding steady there.

Yesterday, it was back up to 50-60!  That's great, but still is not where we would like it to be.  His liver was great, and he is not showing signs of failure.  However, the leakage is still severe.  The conference that I thought was going to happen after our last appointment, did not occur as the surgeon was away for several weeks, but did happen yesterday afternoon after we left.  So, here is where we are at.

Dr. Rebeyka, the cardiac surgeon in Edmonton, who did Nate's first surgery, feels that surgical intervention will be required at some point, sooner rather than later, and is suggesting the 'Double Switch' procedure, where 2 major things happen:  First, the arteries are switched to their correct ventricles (arterial switch), and second: the atrial switch, to redirect the blue blood and red blood to their normal ventricles.  This doesn't get rid of his leaky valve, but remember back in Biology class when you learned about the two ventricles (pumps) in the heart?  One is a strong one that has to push the blood out to circulate through the body, and one is weaker and only has to push the blood to the lungs?  So, by switching the jobs of the ventricles back to their intended function, the very leaky valve which is now having to pump throughout his body, will only have the workload of pumping to the lungs.

Before we determine if that is, indeed, the direction that we need to head, a heart catheterization first needs to be completed.  We have a tentative date set in September for that - I'm assuming it's in Winnipeg, but I don't know that for sure.  This will give the team an accurate representation of the heart function and it's pressures.  With that information, they will meet again to decide if the double switch is the best option.  From there, we would need to do an MRI, which can't be done locally, so we'd go to Edmonton for that.

So, those are the facts for now!  A lot is yet to be determined, but now you know where things are at!

Thanks for praying for us all yesterday.  We had a great day and enjoyed time at The Forks and a Goldeyes game in the evening.  A nice end to the day!


Eva said...

Wow.. so much to learn about the way the heart works... his body has been working hard. Praying the right decision is made and all goes well!

Lauren said...

I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant and the doctors discovered that our son has CCTGA and a VSD. It's encouraging to see that Nate is living a pretty normal life, and didn't need surgeries immediately after he was born. Thanks for sharing!