Yippee!! All is well. Thank you Nancy and Greenhope for your support. If you happen to be interested in details (I always am) Please read on...
I was first up friday morning. surgeons came to see me before hand. When I asked which device they would use, they said it would probably be the Gore-Helex with me but wouldn't know for certain until they got in there. I was very proud of myself as I was pretty alert
for the whole procedure. Definitely comfortable and a little out of it but awake enough to look at the screen and to ask them "how big is it??" I also had to "bare down" at certain times and hold my breath at others. They said the hole was about
one centimeter which was ten times as big as the TEE (trans-esophageal echo) showed. However they were prepared for this because the TEE doesn't always show size and dimensions accurately. They did end up using the Gore device called the Helex and I am now a card carrying member. I keep a card in my wallet which shows model and serial number of my implant.
I came to find out that mine was a "good size" hole. From what I have read, out of the 20 - 25 percent of people who have this, only 6% are as large as this. So, that being said, I am SOOO grateful that this procedure was done. The first cardiologist I saw said it was barely a millimeter and not even worth mentioning. I knew something was very wrong with me starting over 3 years ago, especially with the onset of the complications of my second pregnancy. No one could figure out why it was happening. It's scary to think what would have happened if we wouldn't have caught this. I am very grateful to the doctors who were committed to getting to the bottom of my tia's/strokes, colitis, and other neurological problems/brain lesions.
There were alot of people in my operating room. Students and observers behind the glass. Dr. Kar seemed to be teaching. Also someone from the GORE company who makes the helex was there. I learned that it will take about
a month for my skin to completely bond and close over the device. The device is made up of gore-tex and is very bio-friendly (meaning that my body will adapt well).
My leg had a little bit of a hard time closing up. I had to stay on my back flat for about
ten hours (no lifting the head) because of bleeding. Over all the experience was very good. I have had many hospital experiences, even at Cedars-Sinai (the hospital I went to) and this was by far the best experience I've had. The 6th floor cardiac ICU nurses are really good. Everybody really knew their stuff. I will see doc this week in his office. I was told that they are one of the only teams in the world that do this procedure the way that they do. No TEE or intubation at the time of the procedure. It really is quite amazing the ease of it. No echo even on discharge!! I was amazed.
I am still in bed alot as I am taking all of the rest I can get before our schedule goes back to normal. My husband is taking a couple days off of work to take care of the kids.
I have had a terrible deep cough since the day of the procedure which seems to get worse at night. It scares me a bit to be coughing as hard as I am - both because of the catheter site and the implant.
and on a final note - I have gained so much weight over the last several month from not exercising and "emotional eating" that I feel really uncomfortable. But hey, I am sharing that only because I know that this is a small price to pay for having my health.
Thank you for all the support and sharing your wonderful stories with me.
Post Edited (angielov) : 6/3/2009 5:44:47 PM (GMT-6)