On Friday, immediately after the surgery, Dr. Manfredi gave us the good news that the surgery went better than expected. The ultrasound showed the area was just fibrous material. Our prayers have been answered! This meant Dr. Manfredi proceeded forward with the dilation. In the end, he was able to release the tightness in the fibrous material by cutting deep slits in the esophagus on only one side which stretched the area from 3 – 4mm all the way to 10mm+!!! Even more miraculous, he did not cut through the outside wall of the esophagus. So Lucas does not have a leak which we always mentally planned for. We didn’t even think it was possible to dialate a congenital stricture without causing a leak! You might be amazed to learn an esophagus is normally the thickness of just 3 pieces of toilet paper which makes what Dr. Manfredi accomplished without causing a leak even more impressive.
Next, Dr. Manfredi decided to throw in a dilation on the top stricture and made some strong improvements at the site. To hold both repairs open he decided to place a long stint throughout basically the entire esophagus.
We were on such a high after learning the surgery was a complete success! We were crying from pure joy.
While waiting to be called up to Lucas’ room, Dr. Manfredi came back out & told us Lucas was having breathing problems. So he was taken to the ICU. When we got to the room, Lucas had extremely labored breathing & was definitely in pain. There were 6 people in the room trying to control Lucas and at the same time help his labored breathing. They nurses all commented that Lucas was crazy strong. They ended up putting him on a CPAP machine to control his breathing. After 2 hours, it was decided to reintubate Lucas. They let us watch from outside the room as 11 doctors worked their magic to give Lucas the air he needed. Then they took Lucas back to the OR to remove the large stint which appeared to be causing his trachea to collapse. Plus, they put a smaller stint in at just where the lower congenital structure was dilated. At this point Lucas was heavily sedated through Saturday morning when he was extubated.
We always expected Lucas would have strong pain and be uncomfortable after the surgery. But as a parent, it is unimaginably hard to see your child go through pain. A week or two from now, we will look back & only think of how large his esophagus has become due to the stretching. For now, I am counting down the minutes until Lucas is free of psi and starts to act like his happy self.