Surgery has started

Haven went back for surgery at 8 am this morning.

The surgeons have to be extra careful right at the beginning of the procedure.  The right side of Haven’s heart is in heart failure and enlarged, which means it is pressing against her breastbone.  The team will have to open very slowly and carefully so as to not damage the tissue further.  

Once she is safely open, they will begin with the first option that was mentioned in an earlier post, which is manually moving the valve ends closer together and securing it with a band.  When that is done, she will be closed up and taken off bypass so the doctors can monitor the blood flow via echo.  If they are happy with the blood flow, and the valve shows less leaking and back-flow, the procedure will be finished.

If there is significant leaking, the team will move to option two, which is opening her up again and completely replacing the valve.  Doctors will choose either a plastic valve, mechanical valve, or animal valve once they reach that part of the procedure.  Because this is a foreign object, Haven’s immune system will attempt to “attack” it.  In these procedures, patients’ bodies end up with calcium deposits around the new valve, so doctors say it will need to be replaced (at minimum) every 5 years.

Please keep Haven in your thoughts and prayers today, and send all the positive energy you can her way.  It is going to be a long day, and I will post an update as soon as I can.

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