Well, here we are. After nearly four years we are to the Heart Catheterization, which is the prerequisite for the big Fontan surgery coming up on July 15th. The letter we received from Cook Children’s summarizes it best.
The purpose of the heart catheterization is to evaluate the structure and function of your child’s heart and/or major blood vessels connected to the heart. In some instances a catheterization is performed to repair a heart or blood vessel problem. A sedative will usually be given prior to the catheterization to relax your child. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia which necessitates your child having a breathing tube placed for the length of the procedure. The procedure is done by inserting long, narrow tubes called catheters into an artery and vein, usually in the groin. The catheters are then passed through the blood vessels into the heart. Movement of the catheters into and thru the heart is guided by x-ray. Once in place, blood pressure and oxygen level measurements can be taken from within the heart’s chambers and blood vessels that are connected to the heart. In some cases, it will be necessary to inject dye material so that pictures can be taken of structure of interest The is a chance that a complication could occur, but the likelihood of this is very low. I will review these potential complications with you in person prior to the procedure. If the catheterization is being performed to repair a problem, I will discuss the details of the planned intervention at the same time. The procedure can last up to several hours, but one of the Cath Lab Nurse Clinicians will keep you informed throughout the procedure if one is available. After the procedure is completed, I will discuss the results with you. In most instances your child will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation.
So we are supposed to be there at 6:00am tomorrow and the procedure will start at 8:00am. I’m hoping everything goes smoothly since the big surgery will be quickly approaching after this one. I’m hoping that somehow Rhett will be less worried about the next one as long as everything during this one goes really well.
We are so proud of this kid and he blows me away every day how he continues to push through the limitations his heart has burdened him with, but he takes in stride. He laughs and plays and brightens everyone’s path he crosses. I hope this next part goes as the doctors have planned and we are all home soon.
Until then, one game at a time.
Don’t forget your Heart Rhett shirts if you haven’t already gotten one. I mean, look how cool this kid looks. Orders are available through Tuesday!