Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Maggie Update

Maggie had surgery today to close the opening in her back. Here was part of the newest update we received this afternoon from Brooke's dad:

"About noon an opening came up in the surgical suites here and a team was available to operate and close Maggie’s spinal defect. One of the partners in the neurosurgery team, Dr Sacco, was available. Brooke had identified him earlier in the process as one of the better members of this neurosurgery team. The other option was to wait until late tonight for the operation. In order to minimize the risk of infection to the spinal cord, and to let Maggie healing continue as soon as we could, we elected to have Dr Sacco operate. At 12:30 they moved Maggie to the surgery suite to begin preparation for the procedure. They estimated the anesthesia prep and operation would take about 3 hours. But, after about 2 hours and 15 minutes Dr Sacco came in and told us the operation was completed and he was pleased.

The procedure involves separating the spinal cord from the displaced tissues (muscle, dura, etc) and then re-forming those tissues into the layers of tubes that normally surround the spinal cord. These layers of tissue are each sewn together to make a tube. The skin is then glued together for the final connection. He, and we, are really pleased that the incision is a clean, straight line. Importantly, he said that he feels whatever nerve function she had before surgery should remain after surgery.

Maggie will be coming back to Intensive Care about 4pm today. She will remain intubated for most of the evening, perhaps until the morning. A near term concern for us is for her breathing to improve so her blood oxygen levels can increase. Also, over the next few days the neurology team will be observing her head shape and size, with imaging likely to occur in a couple of days so we can discern how much fluid is being retained in her cranium.

We have been repeatedly told that the next week is our critical time to learn what Maggie’s breathing and brain issues might be. It will be in this time period that we learn what direction her brain functions might be.

We truly ask that your prayers continue to be bold and intense during this time as Maggie needs help."