Two More Tubes in Kevin's Bionic Chest

January 23rd, 2007 - 9:09am by Mom

Another long day! When Dick and I got back to the hospital this morning, both of the surgeons, the pulmonologist, and the oncologist met with Kevin and us. There was a lot of brain power in that hospital room! The general consensus from all of them was that we really couldn't wait to do surgery, there was too much infiltrate in the left lung area, and it was doubtful that it would clear up on its own. After we left the hospital late last night, the 2 surgeons and Dr. McNamara met with a large group of fellow surgeons and pulmonologists to again view the CT film and to hash over Kevin's predicament. It sounds like they were up most of the night doing this. I can't speak highly enough for these physician's.

So Kevin went into surgery this afternoon--scheduled for 1:45 pm. At 4:15 Dr. Anderson and Dr. Mulstad, the 2 surgeons, came to speak to Dick and me. They had just finished--Kevin had come through fine and would soon be sent to recovery. They said if they would have waited a week to do the surgery, it would have been too late. Kevin's left lung would have been permanently contracted and deflated meaning Kevin would only have one working lung and ventilator dependent for the rest of his life. They removed 1700 ml of blood and fluid (comparable to a 2 liter bottle full). In one of the surgeon's words "it was like Kevin had the weight of a full 2 liter pop bottle in his left chest pushing against his lung".

They were able to do everything with just one small incision, about 2 1/2 inches, from which they inserted a camera to guide their instruments and do all of the scraping and cleaning they needed to do. They gave us a picture that this camera captured showing the clots and fibrous tissue that they removed. It was quite amazing. The clots were big and gelatinous and already had fibers stringing down to the lung. In another week they would have entered the lung and dominated it, turning it into a permanent hard firm useless mass. They inserted 2 chest tubes needing 2 more small holes--one draining from his middle lobe, and one from the bottom lobe. They will probably need to be in about a week, or until they stop draining. As soon as they are removed, the first round of chemo will commence. So Kevin will most likely be in-patient for at least 2 more weeks.

When Dick and I left him to go back to the Sheraton tonight, Kevin was feeling the pain from surgery, but able to breathe much better and no longer had the pressure on his chest that has plagued him all week. His only request prior to surgery was for the anesthetist to use watermelon flavored Nitro gas to put him in la la land. He got his wish! He has been able to maintain a fantastic upbeat and positive attitude throughout all of this. He is a remarkable young man!!