Saturday, October 25, 2008

A note from the hospital

Steve had his surgery Tuesday morning. It took a lot longer than we had expected, and it ended up being a lot more complex and invasive than we hoped. I've learned that para-esophageal hernias account for only about 3% of all hiatal hernias. Thanks to our wonderful surgeon though, Steve is expected to make a full recovery.

Apparently, there was a “massive” (the word the surgeon used) hole in the top of his stomach wall, next to his esophagus, and his stomach had bulged up into that hole, and twisted around itself. This had completely blocked his esophagus. His stomach was adhering to his heart and lungs, and it was pulling away from the blood vessels that connect it to the small bowel and intestines. The surgeon, once he saw the damage, could not do a laparoscopic repair and also could not wait for another day or two for the other surgeon to do the big surgery. He said we barely made it in time and that if Steve had waited any longer, his stomach would have “died” from blood loss.

The doctor moved Steve’s stomach back down where it belongs, detaching it from the heart and lungs. He then did what is called a Nissen fundiplication wrap, which sort of wrapped his stomach around the esophagus and anchored it there. Then he anchored the stomach’s back walls to the muscles that live behind the stomach. And, he closed up the big hole that didn’t belong.

I think, all things considered, that my husband is doing really well. He is still in the hospital, and I’m staying here with him. He got the last of his tubes out today and started on a liquid diet today. We may get to go home tomorrow or Monday; don’t know for sure yet. It will be so good to be home…for both of us. I’m going to need to become the “soft foods queen” for awhile and figure out what he can have that’s good and will go down easily. No bread, no meat … nothing that will bulk up in his stomach. He must not have any stress on that poor stomach while it’s healing.

It’s been a long week, but we are feeling very grateful for the blessings that have come to him this week, especially when we found out just how close it really was. God is good. I've also been thinking about people not so many years ago who had this problem ... I think they just died a slow and painful death and no one knew what had happened to them.


Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Glad to hear the operation went as well as it did, and that Steve in on the road to recovery. I am sure both of ya can't wait to get back to your comfortable/familiar home----(I hate hospitals). I would love to hear what you come up with in the area of "soft foods", I got a old guy here with no teeth---and once can only serve soup so often-------. Again Congratulations on the successful surgery.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patty, all the best to you and Steve for a speedy recovery. A few years ago when I had oral surgery I was on soft foods for a couple of weeks. My Mom took care of me and she fed me mashed potatoes, boiled squash, puddings, and of course ice cream!

Patty said...

Thanks, Gary and Sadekat! We are home and I'll be posting an update soon.

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