Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yay modern medicine!

Listening to: Apropos of Nothing - Various Artists under the Angry Rabbit banner

We had another consultation with the surgeon who did Charlotte's TOF repair yesterday and got to see the results of Charlotte's Barium Swallow (linky) yesterday. The swallow was done since Charlotte hasn't progressed to solids as fast as she should, and can't in fact eat anything more solid than pureed and sieved vegetables at the moment. On the swallow images the area where the two ends of her esophagus were joined together is quite dramatically visible. At the site of the join her esophagus narrows to a width of about 5mm, which explains why even a grain of rice is too much for her to take.
The theory is that maybe some acid reflux from her stomach (which had to be stretched upward a little to enable the upstream connections to be made) irritated the scar tissue at the join site and stopped it widening with the surrounding tissue. This is a common complication for this surgery. To fix it, in a couple of weeks Charlotte will have a balloon run down her throat under general anaesthetic, which will then be inflated at the join site to stretch and widen the passage to something approaching normal. All going well, she should be able to eat more normally for someone her age. It would be nice to see those little teeth chewing on something we haven't mulched first.
It means some more hospital time for us (hopefully only a day or two), but we are kinda used to that, and we have seen lots of kids far worse off than her in recent times.

NB, for any newish readers unfamiliar with the story so far, my daughter Charlotte was born 9 and a half months ago with a defect known as Esophageal Atresia with tracheo-oesophageal fistula (linky, specifically Type A in the diagram at the top of the page), which was fixed surgically at one day old and kept her in the neo-natal intensive care ward for three weeks after she was born. Still feels wierd writing that down in a normal way.

1 comment:

Olivia Sinclair-Thomson said...

good luck with that. how cool that we have all the medical stuff that can sort that out.