Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Please Pray for Dad

After three days in the hospital, my dad had emergency surgery last night for a bowel obstruction. He was supposed to have a second surgery today to reattach the cut sections of his small intestine, but his blood pressure was too low.

Here are the details that I've posted on Dad's blog:

Dad was in surgery for only about an hour and had a successful result, so far. They resected two segments of bowel, one which was kinked and dead, and another which had adhered to his abdominal wall. Both were due to scar tissue from his previous gallbladder surgery. The dead section perforated when they touched it, but no damage was done. The doctor told us if they had waited until tomorrow as originally planned, it might have perforated and caused systemic infection. So we are very thankful.
He came through the surgery quite well considering how sick he is. His blood pressure was good. The doctor remarked that, given how sick he is, it's a wonder he was able to sit in the hospital bed for three days.
They didn't close the incision yet because they need to watch his small intestine. There was a large section that they were very concerned about at the beginning of the surgery, but once they untwisted the kinked section, it started looking better. If they don't find any other diseased sections in his small intestine tomorrow, they will do surgery in the afternoon to reconnect his bowel.
In the meantime, he is on a respirator and they are keeping him sedated so he won't get agitated. They plan to take him off the respirator in the morning, briefly, so his lungs won't get used to not breathing.
Please pray for his heart and lungs to stay strong and pray against infection, which is the biggest danger. And pray for a successful surgery tomorrow afternoon. After that he will likely be in the ICU for at least a week and will remain in the hospital until he is able to eat again.
This could be a very difficult recovery for him, so please pray that Dad's spirits remain good.
Thank you.

Dad was doing much better today, off the ventilator and intermittently awake and alert. He smiled and squeezed our hands and wrote notes on a tablet. He was unable to speak because he still has a breathing tube.

They were not able to perform the second operation today because his blood pressure was too low. For that reason, they reduced his sedation to help bring it up and also are giving him medication to increase his blood pressure. 

His doctor told us they will have to operate in tomorrow regardless. They will be able to reattach his bowel under three conditions:
1) They don't find any more dead tissue to remove.
2) His blood pressure is high enough.
3) He is off the BP med or on a very low dose. This is because the medication is a pressor, which restricts his blood vessels. In order for the bowels to reconnect and heal properly, they will need good perfusion (blood flow).

If they have to keep him on a higher dose of medication, or if they have to resect more bowel, they will not reattach it but will create up to three ostomies. This means they will pull the detached bowel sections up to the surface of his abdomen and he will no longer have normal bowel function. This would be a permanent arrangement as it would be too dangerous to perform surgery again later. 

So please continue to pray for dad:
-protection from infection
-blood pressure to come to a safe level
-relief from pain
-a successful surgery

We are not clear on the time of his surgery tomorrow, most likely mid afternoon. Thank you for your love and support!

Mom and Dad at one of Dad's Favorite Places - Nov 2011


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