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Anthony - 11. page

Anthony Bissell

Surgery Done

Anthony was in the OR for over 9 hours, from 7:30am until 4:45pm. The surgery went well. He did lose quite a bit of blood, especially toward the end of the surgery. He received 6 units of blood, which is a lot for a 90 lb boy. He also received “cell savers,” I don’t know what that is, will have to look that up. The wires and rods go from his sacrum up to T2. His doctor said he now has about a 20-30% curve, which is a big improvement. She said she put in a lot of bone, meaning bone grafts which will fuse his spine together. When I asked where she got the bone, she said, “out of a jar”. The bone is from a donor and we will be able to send the donor’s family a thank you note.

Anthony is settled in the Pediatric ICU now. Rich will spend the night with him. He is on a ventilator, he has an arterial line and a central line, a urinary catheter and a drain in his back. His face is quite swollen from all the transfusions and fluid plus laying on his stomach for 9 hours. They will keep him quiet and sedated through the night, will update again tomorrow. Thank you all for your and kind words of support.


Anthony’s Big Surgery

We spent 4 hours at the hospital Monday for Anthony’s pre-operative testing. On Monday October 2, Anthony will have his spinal fusion surgery to correct his scoliosis. They had trouble getting blood and were not able to get enough to do all the tests they wanted. They said they will put in a central line in the OR, since his veins are so bad. They said he will probably be on a vent post-op too, due to his base-line condition and swelling from the surgery. The surgery will take 8-10 hours and he will be face down most of the time. He was catheterized for a urine specimen (he did not like that!), had a chest x-ray, met with anesthesia, etc., etc. Rough day, but Anthony sailed right through. He has no idea what’s coming…

A bit about scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the back. Kids with cerebral palsy have a high incidence of scoliosis which often becomes severe as Anthony’s has. This can lead to sitting and positioning problems for kids who are wheelchair dependent, and ultimately leads to respiratory and cardiac problems. Anthony has a 70% curve and will be fused from T-3 (3rd thoracic vertebra) down to his sacrum. A spinal fusion is a “welding” process by which the vertebrae are fused together with bone grafts and hardware (screws and metal rods) are used to hold the back in place so that it heals like a single solid bone. I hope to get before and after photos of Anthony’s spine.

Here’s a diagram of the back so that you can see this surgery will cover most of his back, very big incision and the possibility of lots of complications. But Anthony is a strong boy and we are hoping for a successful surgery and smooth recovery period. He will be in the hospital 1 – 2 weeks, and will be in the ICU after surgery and will stay in the unit as long as he needs to be there. He will be out of school for 6 – 8 weeks, and will take 6 months to a year for a full recovery. But in the long run, this procedure should greatly improve his quality of life.