On Wednesday, we had an appointment with Dr. Egan (surgeon) to discuss the future big surgery. Basically, Lucas’ lower esophagus has a .5mm section which is hard, much smaller in circumference than it should be (6mm), and appears to have strong trachea material. The future surgery would attempt to cut out the trachea material and some muscle. But, it would leave most of his esophagus fully intact. With the hard muscle and trachea material gone, then they could start stretching the lower section with the same balloon (non-cutting) technique that they are currently having great success on his upper esophagus area.
Dr. Egan wants to wait to complete the lower surgery until the top section is fully stretched to its diameter goal of 15mm. Currently, the top section is stretched to 12mm. They predict the top section will be fully stretched in 2 to 4 months. So, the future big surgery could be in 3 to 5 months. The surgeons wants a full month between when the last stretching surgery takes place and the big surgery is completed. The future surgery would require actually cutting Lucas open. So, Dr. Egan (the surgeon) expects Lucas will be hospitalized at Phoenix Children’s Hospital for 2 – 4 weeks. For the 1st week, he will have a feeding tube. From week two on, he will drink from a bottle and rebuild up his esophagus strength. Once Lucas is back to drinking full feeds, then he can go home!
This is the last big surgery that we are aware of. We can’t wait for this portion of Lucas’ life to be done!
P.S. Bryan located this special surgery technique through his vast research. On Wednesday, we discussed the technique and medical journals with our surgeon who felt more than confident in his abilities that he and his counterpart could complete the surgery. To date, we have only found the surgery completed in Japan. Bryan keeps joking that we will be making a trip to Kobe, Japan soon! Then we will have the freshest Kobe beef burgers. 🙂 Too bad Aetna can’t be used to pay for this surgery in Japan. If it was, I’m 99% confident Bryan would be planning our trip now.