Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Surgery Update 12/22/2010

Hello to all,

Clay underwent an 11 hour surgical procedure on Tuesday December the 14th. The official name for it was a free muscle or myocutaneous flap with microvascular anastomosis, in layman's terms. They took a large portion of full thickness skin and a portion of the muscle from his right thigh and transplanted it to his neck and chin. This piece of skin was attached microscopically to the existing blood supply in his neck. They attached the veins to the new skin flap to feed it and let it grow with him. He also had two tissue expanders in each shoulder. These were removed and the expanded skin was spread out across a portion of his chest and shoulders. The combination of these two procedures seem to have given Clay alot more room in his own skin. When they made the incision under his chin through the existing burn scars, Clay's neck came up 15 centimeters, (nearly 6 inches) this is amazing to see in that he now has a semblance of a chin and neck which we have not seen in a long time. The trach which was situated right below his bottom lip now looks like it is at the top of his chest. We thought this might be removed during this procedure but due to safety concerns and caution the Doctors elected to leave it in a little bit longer. Clay spent two nights in ICU; and, was then moved to a regular hospital room for 5 days. He is now using a walker to maneuver around until the donor site on his leg heals. We arrived home Monday afternoon. Mom (Deidra) stayed at the hospital for the week, while Grandma & I traded places back and forth with Carson and Cody. We are thankful for all of the prayers, meals, visits, and concern of friends and family. Clay has a strong little spirit and we have learned much by being with him. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. We hope 2011 holds nothing but the best for all.

With sincere thanks,

The Fite Family