We met today with Dr. Marleta Reynolds, the pediatric general surgeon, to whom we were referred for the G-tube placement. She was lovely. And like so many of the doctors at Children’s Memorial, she wears Eyephoric 2.5 glasses (like Philippe); hers are bifocals in lavender. Purple is my favorite color, so I’m sure it’s a good sign. Another good sign, Charlotte flirted with the doctor the whole time we talked.
Provided Dr. Young, Charlotte’s cardiologist, approves, we’re in agreement with the pediatrician, GI doc and surgeon this is a necessary procedure and the best course of action for Charlotte. Why? Because not getting enough nutrition not only impacts growth, it also can lead to multiple infections, weak bones and irreversible developmental deficits. We’re not there yet; Charlotte certainly is not malnourished. But, there is no reason to get there.
Here’s what we can expect: Charlotte will need an Upper GI x-ray to determine that her abdominal anatomy is normal. We hope to do that this week. If all goes well, we’ll schedule the procedure as soon as possible.
The day of the surgery Charlotte will be put under general anesthesia, given antibiotics throughout the procedure and a small incision will be made in the upper left quadrant of her abdomen. The tube apparatus will be inserted. She’ll leave the procedure with something called a “pezar” (sp??), kind of like a little tube-tail. That will remain for 2 months at which point it will be replaced by a flip-top kind of button thing (no, that’s not the medical terminology. Just the “mom-inology.”). As with the NG tube, we’ll be able to supplement her feeds either with the electric pump or by hand with the syringe.
She’ll be in the hospital for 24 hours. Then a 1 week follow up to check the wound. Then a 7 week follow up to replace the tube-tail (again, my term) with the button.
There are always possibilities of complications with surgery. Dr. Reynolds assured me that this is a common procedure and that Charlotte is a good candidate–both healthwise and because she’ll likely need the G-tube for more than 6 months. She may experience increased reflux (she only has a tiny bit now). She could develop granulation tissue which is easily treated with an ointment. Generally, she should do just great.
Of course, today she has finished every bottle I’ve given her :). Murphy’s law.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t do that tomorrow because she’ll be so tired from today. The G-tube will see us through the winter when she could easily lose appetite due to a cold or something.
Charlotte tried sweet potatoes today. She loved them! I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow to share. It was too funny.