September 2, 2009

Alayna's Surgery


I have my box of tissues.

I have my notes.

I have a few minutes of peace.

Here we go.

The surgery Alayna will have to go through will be a lot more... involved than we originally anticipated.

Yes, she will have to have the bigger surgery as the smaller one I had mentioned before is only done on babies younger than 4 months.

So, this is more or less how it will go.

It will require two surgeons. The pediatric plastic surgeon will do about 90% of it and a neuro surgeon will do about 10%.

The plastic surgeon will cut open her scalp, ear to ear in a zig zag pattern. This is done so that when her hair grows in it will cover the scars otherwise her hair would part right where the scars would be. I think there was something mentioned about it also helping the skin not to open up to much... or something. I kind of missed that part.

Then the neuro surgeon will step in and actually cut out and remove the head plates from off her head and hand them in four pieces to the plastic surgeon. He will then take them over to a table and reconstruct them, allow room for growth and what not, put it all back together with plates and screws that will dissolve in about a year. He will then finish out the surgery by putting her head back together and sewing her up.

The surgery takes about 4-5 hours. And since Alyana is so small and will loose so much blood she will most likely have to have a blood transfusion as well.

She will spend a night in the ICU and will be on narcotics for a couple of days. Even so she will be quite sore, groggy and uncomfortable. By the second or third day she will be quite swollen. I was told her eyes will be swollen shut.

There will be a drainage tube that will run under her forehead which will be pulled out by the fourth day. By the fifth day the swelling will be going down and she should be able to start opening her eyes again.

So, one night in the ICU and four nights in the hospital, then we bring her home.

It will take a good three weeks for the visible swelling to go away and another 6 months before the deeper, non visible swelling goes away.

The whole surgery is done outside of the protective lining (like a thin leather) that covers the brain so the chances that anything will happen to her brain is very slim. They said the biggest risk will be blood loss.

While we where there they took x-rays of her neck since the surgery is preformed with her laying on her stomach with her chin propped up on something so they needed to make sure her neck was alright.

I'm doing okay. As long as I don't think about it too much or conjure up any images. The surgeon, after telling us everything kind of gave us an odd look and said, "You guys don't seem surprised." I told him we had a bit of a heads up that surgery would be needed but the details were still sinking in.

Anyway, they had to coordinate the two surgeon's schedules so I'm suppose to hear back sometime today as to the date of the surgery but they were thinking it will be sometime within the next month. I'll let you know when I find out.

The only bits of GOOD news are that the surgeons said they preform this particular surgery a couple times a month so they have lots of experience. And she will NOT have to wear a helmet when this is all over.

Well, that's about it for now.

Anyway, the house is WAY too quiet. I better go find the boys and make sure they aren't getting into anything.

13 super cool people speak:

Renee said...

Please know that you are in our prayers. Alayna will come out of this with a fighting spirit, she will of course always be gorgeous because she is your daughter. :) We may not be in your area but if there is anything we can do from here please let us know. We love you guys!!! Renee and AJ

There's no place like home said...

Alayna and you and your family are in my prayers. I pray that you will have total peace and that Alayna comes out completely healed. It is so stressful for mommies to see our little ones in pain or distress. I know you are strong but if you need someone to talk to I am here for you. Hang in there. Heavenly Father has apurpose in all of this and he has his hands in this situation as always even if we dont understand.

Sara Lyn said...

That's crazy! I know you're glad to hear that the surgeons do it frequently. That's great news. We'll keep praying. Let me know if there's anything else I could do.

Svedi Pie said...

Oh wow! Poor Alayna - fortunately you have one strong, sweet little girl on your hands. We'll be praying for you!

the Gardners said...

Oh Serene, and poor Alayna. The idea just brings tears to my eyes. Do you need anything? Blood donated? I don't know if they do this, a baby I used to Nanny for had to go through numerous surgeries and her family asked everyone to donate blood and you could request it to go to someone when you went in. If someone didn't live near by, but donated it was credited towards her..etc. something like that. We will be praying for.

Katherine said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry. I hope that you have wonderful insurance.

Heidi said...

I understand about you not wanting to think too much on it--those images are horrific. Trust in the Lord and His guidance of the surgeons. All will be well and right. Hymn #105 is coming to mind--"whatever it be." Prayers are still going your way.

Brittney said...

Thank goodness you can go to that hospital where they do this often. I hope all goes well. What hard things to hear of happening to a little baby!

The Hulls said...

Thinking of you and praying for you and your little girl.

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

Serene - I'm so sorry for you and your family that you have to go through this. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks and definitely keep us posted on Alyana's condition!

Katie said...

That surgery sounds a lot like the one they did on Josh to take out his cancer. He had the plastic surgeon and the neuro surgeon as well, but in his case they did remove most of his dura. I am so sorry that you have to go through the emotional part of this, I am sure it is ten times worse with a child than a husband. I hope you will be blessed with the same calm we had in knowing that medically it should all be fairly routine. We will be praying for you guys.

Mama Smith said...

My darling, daughter...You will have MANY people fasting and praying for Alayna, the surgeons, and for you and Luke...What a support system...She is Father's child...and LOVES HER and YOU...more than we can comprehend...For whatever reason,there is PURPOSE in all our challenges...and they will BLESS ALL in the grand scheme of things...I love you...

Stacy Wilson said...

Serene, I just stumbled upon your blog as I was looking at blogs of other stay at home moms. I read your post about the up comming sugery. My nephew had the same exact thing done to him because his growth plates we're doing what they were suppose to. He just got baptised a couple months ago and you would never even know that he had surgery when he was so little. The zigzag cut make so much difference. I hope that all goes well for your little family.

-stacy from

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