Little H’s operation would have been simple, in a way, if not for his small left heart. In some ways when people think negatively for holes in the heart, Little H’s hole was what helped his left heart grow. But that wasn’t enough because then there was a combination of both oxygenated and deoxygenated blood in his heart. That’s where the other phases of the operation comes in.
Can’t understand most of the diagram Dr Shankar drew and explained to us, but I tried using Google to help me decipher surgeon language.
The first thing they needed to do was to repair the coarctation. This was done by an incision on the left, not an open heart.
The next step was where we got lost and worried, because it required Dr Shankar and his team to open up our little boy’s chest and his heart. I had to force tears back down and the doctor even told me there was no need to cry, no need for tears (and he pushed the tissue box away for added effect). The process was called Damus-Kaye-Stansel procedure or DKS in short.
As with any surgery, this was high risk and he outlined what were the possible complications. The procedure was a modified one because of Little H’s size (he’s still not reach the 2kg mark). We were warned of the possibilities of him needing the ECMO machine if his heart was not able to manage the stress and sustain him. The operation would take place on 13 June, Little H would be 21 days old.
That morning we came down to spend some time with him. The little Warrior possibly knew he was going for a big battle. That was the last moment we saw him with fewer tubes, alert and punching and kicking and fighting. They had to intubated him again and then sedate him as they made the transfer from NICU to the operating theatre. We followed until the doors to the OT slid shut.
From there it was a wait, 10 hours, before the hospital would call us and give us an update. We went home to rest and I woke up several times looking at the clock and praying so hard for everything to be alright. It was 6.30pm when the hospital called and told us that Little H would be back in the NICU in about 15 to 30 mins. It was a huge relief to know, even briefly, that he was ok and resting.