Surgery was scheduled for 7:30am, so we were up early. Alondra showed up at the hospital in her PJs and a good mood - right on time. They have a new security procedure at Childrens Hospital where you get a name tag sticker to put on your shirt at checkin. Alondra spent most of the pre-op wait trying to pull Dad's sticker off. When it was time, she happily went off in the anesthesiologist arms. Afterall, he had a fun surgical mask she could try to pull off his face.
The first good news came before we had spent an hour in the waiting room. The bronchioscopy revealed that Alondra's trachea now measured a 3, up from 2.5 this summer (4 is normal for a 1 year old). So all she'll need is the anterior graft. The scope also showed that her lower bronchial tubes, though still a little floppy, are firming up as we had hoped.
A couple hours later Dr. Sumac (I know I'm spelling that wrong - Deanna will correct me) showed up at the door of the waiting room with really good news. The procedure went beautifully and Alondra is now resting with Mom in the PICU - with a size 4 nasal tube!
The procedure takes a piece of cartilage from one if her ribs and grafts it to her trachea to widen the airway. Had Alondra's airway still been as narrow as it had measured this summer, she may have needed both a posterior and an anterior graft. But with the growth over the summer, she only needed the procedure with a single graft. The incision made on her chest to get the cartilage is much smaller than I had expected. Her neck however is covered by a large bandage so I'm not sure what that scar will be like. The doctor in the PICU assured me it's likely smaller than I think.
The plan now is to keep her on the vent, sedated until Sunday to let her trachea heal. On Sunday, they'll try to take her off the vent so she can begin the next phase of recovery. It'll take some time for her to adjust after all the drugs. And then she'll have to re-learn to swallow and such. At this point, we're still planning on a 3 to 6 week hospital stay, but hopeful Alondra can come home soon.
Thanks for all your prayers. They do make a difference.