Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hemi-Fontan

Her heart after the Norwood:
This will be her heart after the hemi-fontan:The hemi-Fontan procedure is the second of three operations for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It is done when the child is between four and six months of age. A heart catheterization is done before surgery to make sure that it is safe to proceed with surgery.
Why is the hemi-Fontan procedure done?
The goal of the second stage is to reduce the work of the right ventricle. After this stage, the right heart will only have to pump blood to the body because the work of pumping blood to the lungs is taken away.
How is the hemi-Fontan procedure done?
The large vein that brings blue blood back from the upper body called the superior vena cava is sewn into the blood vessel that takes blood to the lungs. Blood coming back from the upper body now flows directly to the lungs without going through the heart (1).
The Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt (2) placed during the Norwood operation is removed. A patch is placed over the top part of the heart's right upper chamber (3). This prevents blood from the upper body from entering the heart and blood from the lower body from entering the lungs. It also maintains a connection that is used for the final stage of the repair and greatly simplifies the last operation.
Why not perform the hemi-Fontan right away?
In newborn baby, the pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs is quite high. If the hemi-Fontan was done right after birth, blood coming back from the upper body would not be able to flow to the lungs because of the high pressure.
After the hemi-Fontan
Most children tolerate this surgery very well and are able to return home about a week after surgery. The child usually looks about as "blue" as before the surgery since some of the blood returning from the body still bypasses the lungs. Children usually go home on several medicines that often can be stopped six to twelve months later.
After this surgery, most children grow and develop normally. They are not more prone to infections than other children and can be involved in all age-appropriate activities. There are no activity restrictions for toddlers and no need to stop children from being too active. Children know when they have reached their limit and will stop and rest. In general, children can return to daycare two weeks after discharge from the hospital.
Thanks for letting me educate you today! :-)
Love,
Suzie
PS Go Blue!! However, they are not looking like a championship football team only 4 minutes into the game!!!! Michigan 0 Notre Dame 14 WHAT???!!!! Glue on the hands would be a good idea!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Suz...we are at Cara and Warren's and did NOT need a plane to do it! Cara and I went through all the posts ( I wanted her to see Lindsay's cheeks!) and when we got to the surgery lesson, she said "leave it to Suzie to so calmly explain what they will do when they "CRACK HER BABY'S CHEST OPEN!! I would be a raving lunatic!!" Just another reminder that you are AWESOME! JUst when I was going to call and come over, you all got sick...how on earth does a 5 yr old get mono for heavens sake? I have a wedding next week, but I'll try the next.

WE LOVE YOU, Elaine and Bill

jen hnilo said...

Always glad to read your updates. :)

Anonymous said...

Completely amazing! She is as beautiful as ever! I can't wait to meet her, maybe at Thanksgiving. We'll be thinking of you.

Love,
Amanda, Ryan, Sonora, Maizy, and Owen

Anna said...

I am an auntie of a HLHS nephew, Sebastian, he is now 7 years old and going strong. He has had all of his heart surgeries in Palo Alto, Ca.. Though we have had a few speedbumps along the way, he made it to the Fontan, anything is possible with enough love, hope and faith! Lindsay is such a beautiful baby, keep strong.

heavensent said...

So amazing the works of God. He is a creator and a saviour. God bless you. I was so much inspired by your story