Before Colby went into the OR, the doctor came to explain the surgery. He was going to try to do the endoscopic third ventriclostomy (ETV) to avoid having to do a shunt. He said that the ETV would take about 25 minutes. Or if at any point they needed to abort this and opt for a shunt, it would tack on another 25 minutes or so.
Colby went off for his surgery and Tracey and I went into the waiting room where there is a screen that shows the status of each operation taking place that day. The screen had the patient number, the doctor’s name and the time the surgery was to begin. Each would turn different colors depending on the stage of the operation, Blue was if the patient was in Pre-Op, Purple once the operation began, then Green when they were in Post-op….you get the picture. It looked much like the screens you see in the airport terminals showing the status of each flight. So we watched as Colby’s line turned Purple and we knew he was in the OR. 20 minutes ticked by…..then ½ an hour….then 40 minutes…. We tried not to read too much into the time that was going by, but you had to wonder where things stood. At about 45 minutes his status changed to Post-Op. Within a minute or two the door to the waiting room opened and in came the doctor, his face still covered with all the masks and goggles from the surgery. He gave us the great news that Colby has come out of his surgery without a shunt!!!!! YIPPPPPPPPIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! The doctors said that his surgery went very well. Blood loss was minimal. There was so much pressure in Colby's head that when they put the endoscope into his head, the fluid forced it's way out the scope. He said all in all, things went great and given what he saw and how things went, he would give Colby about a 60-70% chance of a successful outcome. Part of what he does is to cauterize the gland or duct or whatever it is that produces some of the cerebral fluid, thus limiting the amount of fluid that could refill his ventricle. He said that this relatively new addition to the surgery greatly increases the chances of a successful outcome.
When the neurosurgeon came into the waiting room to talk with us, he started by saying "Colby is awake and very hungry and cranky!!" As we walked down to see him, we saw a couple of the nurses and the anesthesiologist that was in with Colby during his surgery and both remarked that Colby was hungry and a crankpot! LOL Yup..that's out boy! Don't mess with him when he's hungry!!!!
He looks well and just has a small gauze bandage on the top of his head where they went in. But apart from that, Colby looks great !!! We’re just so relieved that they were able to do this procedure and not put in a shunt. Plenty of people do have shunts, but the only problem they encounter is that they can fail, become infected and need to be revised over time. Colby’s operation isn’t without risks and possibility of failure. But if it works, it could keep him from having a foreign object placed inside him.
Colby is in the ICU where he'll stay at least one night. Tracey and I can't stay over night in this unit and in all honesty he's in good hands and we're tired from the stress leading up to his surgery. Not that leaving him doens't bother us, because it does, but I think that because Colby was already in the NICU for 122 days, we feel much more comfortable with leaving him at night in the hospital. I can image that a parent who hasn’t gone through this experience might be torn apart from the idea of going home while your son/daughter is at the hospital. But he’s pretty much out cold with the meds he’s on. Plus he’s in the ICU all hooked up to monitors and with the nurses watching over him. So we'll head home tonight and get some much needed rest. Then we'll be back at his bedside in the morning.