Thursday, November 6, 2008

One down, one to go

Today my husband had the gallstones removed from the bile duct. The doctor said that what he found was really like grainy sludge. He cleaned it all out, irrigated with saline, and made sure that the opening was clear. The procedure went well - took about 45 minutes. I was treated to lots of details about the machine, which apparently looks like the arched neck and head of a dinosaur. And the doctor has to wear a suit to protect against the radiation. Our patient was sedated for the procedure itself but I guess had lots of time to look at the equipment.

When I got there around 4:30, he had only been really awake for about an hour. And he was so hungry and thirsty, and still designated as no food or water! It had been more than 24 hours since he was allowed anything... So I got the nurse to call the doctor, who approved that he could have anything he wanted. What DH wanted was chicken broth and rice. After eating the whole bowl, and getting pain medication (the procedure left his abdomen quite sore) he was happy to settle into a doze.

The surgeon came to visit and discuss the gallbladder removal surgery tomorrow. He seems like a very nice guy - so far everyone has been - and explained that it will be laproscopic, with an incision near the belly button for the camera, and another small one to get the gall bladder out. The main concern is that since this is done under general anesthesia, there is risk because of the heart condition. Our doctor is confident that he will do well, and I am too.

The surgery is scheduled for noon tomorrow. The surgeon said that lots of people go home the same day, but he is going to keep the patient overnight to watch the heart and make sure the recovery is smooth. So, right now we expect that he will be home sometime on Saturday. We are both looking forward to that!

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