Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cardio Report

Peeper saw her cardiologist today, for the last time before surgery.

As we were getting into the car to drive over (to the office in OurTown - yay!), Shrike and I both admitted that we were still holding out a little glimmer of hope for him to do one last echo, and see shocking, miraculous changes in the size of her heart-holes.

Um, yeah. That didn't happen.

He did, however, say that she "looks as good as she possibly could" (considering) and that her growth has "continued to be a straight line [on the graph], which is great," and that "she's got some fat stores [in her cheeks!] - not that she's fat by any means [actually, she's skinny for her height] - but she's got some stores, so that's good" (I'm guessing she'll lose some weight in the days immediately following the surgery) and "it looks like she's got a good nitrogen balance, so she'll heal quickly" (I have no idea what that means) and we've "done the best that [we] possibly could for her" but that she needs the surgery to get her fixed up and he thinks "she'll do great" and he's "looking forward to a very good outcome."

He also said that, if all goes smoothly, most kids are off all their medications within two to six weeks after the surgery.

Most tend to be a bit hypertensive for a little while, so even those who weren't on Captopril pre-op usually are afterward, but he usually starts weaning them off of that a couple of weeks post-op.

He leaves them on Lasix a little longer, until he's sure that there's no fluid building up around the heart, but that's usually finished by six weeks.

The Captopril is the one that she dislikes more, so I'm glad to hear that we'll get rid of it, or at least start dropping the dosage, pretty quickly.

(Just lowering the dosage will help a lot; it takes about ten separate squirts from the syringe to get 2 cc down her!)

Contrary to what the surgeon's office told me on the phone, he said that he'll do all of her follow-up care, and she won't see the surgeon again after she's discharged from the hospital.

We've got an appointment for the Tuesday after surgery, and we'll also see him at 2 weeks and 4 weeks post-op.

I think he said that after that, we'll go back in another month, then two months, six months, then annually for a while, and then every couple of years. I don't know when, if ever, she gets to just not have a cardiologist.

Regarding the surgery itself, he said that they will patch the ventricular defect, but the atrial defect might be small enough to just suture, without using a patch. They won't know that until they are actually in there, though.

Oh, and they weighed her at just a whisper over ten pounds!

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