Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fistula surgery repair

Lucy's initial surgery to repair her cleft fistula and nose was back on June 10. We opted to try the Actifuse  in an effort to avoid the more invasive use of her hip bone to repair the opening. Unfortunately, I noticed some of the graft showing through her gumline and later, her nose began to ooze runny blood, especially after she had exerted herself (running, climbing, etc). So she was scheduled for surgery yesterday to fix those issues.

Waiting for the nurse to arrive, she was happy to sprawl out and watch a little tv without having to negotiate with her sister about which show to watch.
Her surgery took about 60 minutes. In addition to repairing her gumline, it turned out a hole had reopened in her nose so more sutures were required there as well. She did really well with the procedure but I've learned that anesthesia and pain killers make her pretty darn surly! She was ordering me around pretty much all day and extended that to the nurse, demanding popsicles and tv as soon as she was coherent enough to talk. I had to remind her that just because she was not feeling well, using words like please and thank you were still a requirement for getting people to help you!
Once again, she wanted to oversee the removal of her IV line. She managed to negotiate taking home the blood pressure cuff, another cuff that keeps all of the IV lines in place and the splint that keeps your arm straight!
The first of 4 popsicles.
This is Lucy's version of heaven at the moment: Morphine, Lion King on the tv, the remote in her possession, and popsicles in bed!
Back at home, she curled up under a blanket on the sofa and was soon joined by Bella. This cat seems to just know when someone isn't feeling well. She was napping on the chair across the room but she got up and came over to sit on top of Lucy (how she knew that Lucy was the one who needed comfort I don't know because Kate was also sitting under a blanket on the sofa and Bella normally gravitates to Kate because she can be still for longer).
And this is where they stayed until I rang the dinner bell, when all three ladies came into the kitchen for supper.
She's back on a soft diet for 2-3 weeks and then another checkup with the doc. After that, he'll want to see her next year to evaluate whether or not the Actifuse is doing its job. He didn't sound very optimistic in that department, saying that it didn't look like she was growing enough bone so far to make it thick enough to fill. Fortunately, we have time on our side as most bone grafts using bone taken from the hip are done around 8-9 years old. By then, we should have a much better idea about the viability of this procedure.


Heather H. said...

Hi Lisa. Our 7yo daughter is currently doing her palate expander and reverse face mask in preparation for her bone graft surgery. Fun times. (That might be a tad bit of sarcasm.) You know, because having to keep track of her $3,400 worth of hearing aids wasn't enough stress. Then I had to make sure I turned her screw two times a day and didn't choke her with the tool. Now I have to try to make sure she wears her mask 16 hours a day. And all this is just leading up to a surgery! I hope Lucy is recovering well with no complications this time!

Lisa said...

Can you take out her mouth jewelry (palate expander) to clean it? We removed hers every evening and after I cleaned it I could turn the screw. She learned how to put it back in by herself. And that's a long time to wear that mask! L wore hers every night for sleeping so that made it about 10-11 hours/day. I wish your daughter well--these China girls are so tough and have to endure so much.


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