Thank you to everyone that read and sent me messages about the blog post I wrote last night! I appreciate it very much! Also, since I’ve had a lot going on within the past couple of days, I thought I’d make another post today to explain the surgery I underwent yesterday as well.
Reason Behind this Surgery and Our Two Choices:
Because of my trach falling out and leaving me decannulated for two days, it was crucial for the docs to do a bronchoscopy surgery to make sure everything was clear and my airway had stayed open. On Monday morning (yesterday) at 7:30am, I was called down to pre-op and got prepared for the surgery. I was doing pretty good the past couple days, so it was a difficult decision because we were given two options. Option #1: Leave the trach out, let my stoma fully close and keep a close eye on me in Toronto for the next few weeks, or Option #2: Insert the trach back in and continue on our way for decannulation sometime after six weeks from now. There was really no right answer. Putting the trach back in would delay my recovery process a bit, but also put our minds at ease knowing that if my throat did close, I would have a back-up breathing support. But, since I’ve been doing good without it, leaving it out could quicken my recovery process. It was tough to answer without the doc actually seeing what’s going on inside my airway and after going back and fourth, I made a decision. When I was taken to the operation room and getting started on anesthetics I told my doctor, if everything inside looks absolutely perfect, then we can leave the trach out, but if he sees any complications or there needs to be any construction, then to put the trach back in. I’m surprised the doctor understood a word I was saying because the anesthetic was so heavy, I’m pretty sure I went out mid-sentence. 😂
What Happened During the Operation:
A bronchoscopy is an endoscopic method used on a patient for doctors to look at and visualize the airway and lungs. I get bronchoscopy’s very often and practically with every operation. When they went in, they found that there was granulation tissue quickly growing into my airway, which we suspect was the reason behind my breathing problems the other night. (I attached a black & white granulation tissue before and after image below). Because that was starting to block some of my airway, they had to do some construction to remove it, which meant that the best thing to do was to perform a tracheostomy once more and insert the trach back in. I had no idea what had happened until a couple hours after surgery (the anesthetic takes a while to wear off for me). That’s when I finally woke up and they explained what was done. For the remainder of the afternoon my neck was pretty sore from the tissue removal (although that didn’t stop me from eating curly fries right after I woke up😉).
What to do next?
They inserted the Shiley 4.0 PEDS trach once more, but since its so short and falls out very easily, the doctor is ordering a custom Bivona 4.0 PEDS long trach. The nurses are keeping a close eye on me until the new trach comes in, therefore for now, we just wait. The longest trach close to the 4.0 is the 5.0 PDL long, (which I had at the beginning of the year), but because we’re trying to downsize and take up as little space as possible, we have two custom long ones coming. Since these are special order, the doctor calls them the “Cadillac” version of trach tubes because they are very expensive. It will take up to 3-5 days (which I think is actually pretty fast) and during that time I will stay here at SickKids.