Saturday, January 5, 2008

Baby Elliot Hughes Up-Date

Dear All,

Elliot came through the surgery fine, although he looks as though he is a typical “post surgical” trauma picture at this point. Here are the findings and outcomes:

  1. No lung surgery—the upper lobe was not even there to remove. It never developed—the thymus gland was mimicking the upper left lobe on X-ray because it was excessively large. The doctor removed a part of the thymus to allow more work space—should not bring any future complications.
  2. The vascular ring around the trachea was released—the ligament clipped.
  3. They found (relatively easily) the lower (distal) part of the esophagus which comes up from the stomach, but the proximal portion of the esophagus was very difficult to find. They finally ran a light down the throat and traced where the esophagus was by the light. Once found, they saw why the esophagus has not grown much in three weeks: it was entrapped by the vascular ring. Once the ring was released, there was found that the gap between the two parts of the esophagus (distal and proximal) was not three centimeters, but six. Dr. Georgeson was dismayed to find an even larger gap than expected---twice as large.
  4. They performed the Fokker Maneuver where they sutured both sections of the esophagus and ran the lines outside his body. Periodically, the doctors will pull the twine and stretch the esophagus. Elliot will have to be sedated each time.
  5. This Maneuver has some risks with it: sutures coming out with more surgery for suture repair, and when the stretching occurs, a hole can come in the esophageal wall which could lead to infection with contents from the stomach going out into the abdomen.
  6. Longer hospital stay with ultimate major surgery ahead again. If this Maneuver works, it will be approximately one more month before the adequate length is achieved. The doctor says that he has never tried this Maneuver on such a large gap and he couldn’t offer a high confidence that this would be successful. If this fails, the colon resection will probably be the next option.

We know that nothing passes to us unless it has passed through our loving Father’s hands first. We are thankful that Elliot made it through surgery and pray the next two or three days with him on the Ventilator will be uneventful and he will come through post surgically without any complications.

Thank you again for all your prayers. We truly knew the strength from the Lord throughout the surgery. We know that your prayers were answered as the Lord saw best. The next few weeks may be very difficult with hills and valleys. At this point, we have heard that he cannot be held for as long as this Maneuver is being performed. This is one of the hardest outcomes—it was so consoling to hold him close—especially for Josh and Angie. Please pray for endurance and strength—the long road is now longer with new obstacles and barriers along the way. However, we are so thankful to be this far and know that the Lord will see us through every trial.

Thank you for bearing us up before the throne of grace,


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