Hi all,My mom went into surgery at 8 a.m. on Wednesday 8/12 for a mitral valve repair. She's had a heart murmur for years, and it was time to get it fixed. She is a 63 year old female considered healthy. The surgeon was also aware of an aortic aneurysm. He's been aware of it for the last 2 years and said it was so small he just wanted to call it an enlarged aorta.My mom was put on bypass for the maze procedure and mitral valve repair and when they took her off, the aneurysm burst. I suppose it couldn't have happened at a better time, because they were already in there. They were technically done with the surgery at 12:15, but it took another 3-4 hours for them to get control of the bleeding. My mom was released to the ICU and 2.5 hours later, they took her back into surgery to drain blood. They brought her back into the ICU, then 7 hours later, they had to open her up again to drain blood because her blood pressure dropped. That was yesterday morning at 4:30 a.m. Her blood pressure has remained more stable since the last surgery. They have left her open (taped shut) at this point.They are keeping her in a medically induced comma until the swelling begins to go down and she's more stable. Yesterday, concern developed about her kidneys as they are not functioning. Today her potassium and lactic acids have gone down slightly, but they're considering a gentle form of dialysis as there's no kidney improvement.This is not at all what we were expecting... She was supposed to have a 4-7 day hospital stay. She was supposed to be out of the ICU by now... I guess the aortic aneurysm put a wrench in things. I'm just so worried. Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and can offer any encouragement.
I wanted to give you an update. Marilyn, thank you so much for asking. Sorry for the delayed response. It has been a terrifying roller coaster...it won't stop...and I cannot get off.
I'll start by saying, at this very moment, my mom is in surgery #7 since her original open heart surgery Aug. 13th. She had the original surgery, then they ripped her open twice to get the bleeding under control, left her taped shut in a medically induced comma, and then closed her up a week later. That accounts for 4 surgeries. Queue the awfulness that has come about since... I have a ton of nervous energy at the moment, so apologies for the book.My mom's kidneys failed on her, and did so for about 3 weeks. She was on dialysis. Due to the volume of fluid retention, she developed sores on her legs and feet. Fortunately, she didn't really develop any bedsores. She complained about not regaining feeling in her legs when a lot of the volume was taken from her body with dialysis, and then the returning function of her kidneys. The doctors thought it was because there was still fluid in her legs, and that with better blood flow from moving around it would improve. Also note, my mom complained of a burning sensation in one of her legs...
A week ago Saturday, they performed surgery number 5. An exploratory surgery to determine the lack of blood flow to her right leg. They were looking at where they inserted her groin port. They found tissue in the vein and removed it. They cleaned up the area and closed her up. On Tuesday of this week, they released her to rehab. This was a fantastic and exciting moment for our whole family! Finally! Woohoo! Recovery! It was short-lived. Within 24 hours of being at the Rehab Facility, the wound on her right heal opened up and she was being rushed back to the hospital via ambulance. At around 3 p.m. when my dad called the family, an aggressive course of antibiotics was the plan. Roughly an hour later, my dad messaged us all -- probably amputation. Needless to say, I was floored! I am still am! AMPUTATION?!She had necrotizing fasciitis in her right leg. It destroyed almost all of her leg. They amputated at the knee to start, and removed all of the dead and diseased tissue above the knee. She lost her hamstring. They tied-off the artery, and left the wound open to drain. They planned to go back in and amputate above the knee once the infection cleared. The infection was in her bloodstream at this point and they needed to make sure the rest of her leg stayed healthy. There was so much puss in her leg, the surgeon said it was a MIRACLE she was still alive. Another few hours, she definitely would have died. So, Wednesday night passed, and her artery remained tied-off. Phew! She didn't die! That was a scary night. And, the infection in her blood has cleared! Thank GOD! Now, at this very moment, she's back in surgery. If the tissue is healthy, they plan to amputate above the knee, and close her up.Here are some of the things that have come to light in recent hours...The anesthesiologist came in this afternoon and said he was going to do spinal sedation anesthesia... Right. My mom's on blood thinners. My dad caught that. Only reason he knew, is because they almost did it another time, and caught themselves before they did.Second, the kidney doctor apologized profusely today about my mom's leg. Thought it was swelling from fluid retention. Said he won't be charging them.Starting to have a heavy sinking feeling. Did my mom lose her leg because of negligence? I... Just don't have words right now. I cannot even begin to express the level of hurt and anger I'm feeling. And my precious mother has been a sweet saint through this. Incredibly positive, and so sweet and loving.
A few more things to note -- my mom went in very healthy. She had a heart murmur. That was it. No medications for anything. Diligent about physicals, not overweight, no diabetes. No issues. Just upper back pain, but come one, who doesn't have back pain? So, she was healthy. Now, she'll be leaving the hospital without a leg after a mitral valve repair. I'm truly having trouble comprehending all of this.