Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 14 Surgery Update

Hello to everyone. I wanted to pass along some details on Clay's most recent procedure. On Monday the 12th Clay spent nearly 10 hours in the operating room at Children's Hospital in Dallas. This was a scheduled procedure and had been planned for quite a while. We checked into the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and at 6:00 p.m. Clay had not come out of recovery. It was a long wait for Mom and Dad so I hope it went quickly for him. This will not be a short post because I will attempt to describe everything that was done while Clay was in the O.R. Clay's day started with a visit from a surgical dentist. It seems that being in a burn unit for four months plus copious amounts of antibiotics over the last three years have not been kind to Clay's baby teeth. He has the added problem of not being able to open his mouth wide enough to floss. The scar bands around his mouth will not allow it. The dentist extracted four baby teeth and capped 8 more to insure he can make it until the permanent arrive. All of this had to be done under anesthesia because the mouth had to be forced open for him to access the teeth. When he finished up our plastic surgeon took over. He placed two tissue expander's under the hair on Clays head between the skin and the skull. These will be injected with fluid to attempt to move Clays hair back far enough to cover the crown of his head. After this procedure was completed they made incisions over Clays ribs and harvested cartilage from two separate spots. They then took this harvested cartilage and started the process of building Clay a left ear. This cartilage was formed into an ear shape and placed under the skin or scalp in position to create an ear. It will be left under the skin until it has healed and grown over, at that point they will go in and separate from the skull and hopefully there will be the start of a new left ear. One interesting part of the surgery was the fact that they harvested more good tissue than they needed for this ear so they , "banked" some cartilage for later use lower down on his head. When the ear was completed they went to work on his face. Dr. Trussler opened up both side of his mouth and attempted to work around his chin and nose doing releases and shaping in both places. They also worked on Clay's right eye which was starting to pull down a bit from contracting burn scars. If you think all that I mentioned was enough you are wrong. When Dr. Trussler finished up the plastics hand specialist went to work on Clay's left hand. The burn scars and amputations on Clay's left hand were pulling down and preventing Clay's hand from growing. The palm of this hand was much smaller than his right. Initially they had planned to open up his left palm and pocket or sew it on to a patch of good skin on his abdomen. His had would have been attached to his stomach for a minimum of three weeks. We were worried about this because three weeks can be a long time for an adult and an eternity when you are eight. When they started the hand procedure they decided that Clay did not have enough unburned skin on his stomach to attach the hand to and they opted to take a full thickness skin graft from his left thigh and rebuilt his palm with it. They also put pins in his thumb and middle finger to help straighted and spread these two digits hoping to give him more range and a wider griping area. This hand was then placed in a cast and all surgeons wrapped it up for the day. After being under anesthesia for approximately eight hours our surgeon elected to place Clay in the Intensive Care Unit overnight. He said that due to the length of time and the many different procedures he wanted to use extra caution with Clay after surgery. Mom and Dad are allowed to stay in ICU and we did on Monday night. Clay was moved Tuesday morning to a room on the plastic surgery floor for an additional day of care and observation. He was released today a little before noon and he is making his way to South Texas to spend the rest of his spring break recovering at his grandparents home with his brothers, and cousins on spring break. Mom is going too just in case she is needed. There have been many people praying for Clay before, during and after this surgery, we would like to say thank you because your thoughts, kindnesses, and prayers are always needed and appreciated by the Fites.