Jun 3, 2009

Fundo Intact

Poor sweetie. We took Ainsley in for an upper GI last week. She now gets scared any time we go to radiology and cries and cries even if I distract her with toys she likes. We had this test done at the surgeon's request as a routine part of his 6 months post surgery follow up. He wanted to make sure her fundoplication was intact. I knew it was because otherwise she'd be throwing up. She still gags on occasion and even retches so if the wrap had loosened we would know. It's been almost 8 months and she hasn't vomited once. We are so thankful. For the upper GI they put a barium solution in through the G-tube and then rotate her back and forth on the platform to "see" if there is any "food" coming back up the esophagus. The radiologist said the wrap is tight but not too tight. So I guess that is good information. That means that physically she should be able to get the food down when we progress to the next level with feeding. Probably after the trach comes out some day.

Today we saw the surgeon for the follow up. He said her upper GI was perfect. He was okay with how her scar looked, the raised keloid effect it had is gone now so it looks better but is still wider than the g-tube scar underneath it. He said that can take up to 2 years before it's healed. An open incision surgery takes longer to heal from. Perhaps it may narrow a bit with time. We joked that she wasn't likely to have a future as a stomach model anyway. I asked again and he doesn't think there are better results from doing it as an open procedure vs laproscopically. I had heard of several people on the trach forum whose kids' laproscopic fundos failed and had to be redone with an open procedure so that is why we chose to do it that way. To be sure. Perhaps it depends on the skill of the surgeon and their experience.

Another interesting thing he said is that if you can get food down you can also get food back up and that some kids can vomit even with the fundo. It depends on how hard they retch. It is possible that Ainsley could vomit if she were very ill. So if that happens it doesn't automatically mean that the wrap is "broken". Good to know. We still protect her against anything that will cause her to retch such as feeding when she's not interested or coughing up trach secretions into her mouth.

I thanked the surgeon profusely. The surgery has been the best thing we ever did. It's eliminated a lot of stress for all of us and has helped her airway recover from the stomach acid exposure and is protecting her lungs. She now needs a fraction of the suctioning she used to require. We got a height and weight measure for her: 37 3/4" H (on the short leg) and 31lb 3oz. She is now at a healthy weight because of the surgery (Her dietitian says her growth is perfect, don't change anything, and she doesn't need to come back for 6 months to a year, yea blenderized diet success!). If all continues to go well we will not have to see him again unless she has a problem. I told him I hope we never see him again unless we run into him in the cafeteria. He's a nice doctor who helped Ainsley a lot so it's a bit sad to think we may not ever see him again.

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