Monday, March 4, 2013

Sully Needs Surgery

I guess when it rains it pours.  Sully went in today for his 18 month check-up (at 20 months) and was diagnosed with not one but two epigastric hernias that will require surgery to repair.  The husband took him so I was not at the appointment and I'm sure you can just imagine my frantic googling upon receiving the call.  What?  There's something wrong with my baby boy?  Like, really wrong and not just my joking around about why doesn't he walk more, talk more and cry less type stuff, but something so wrong that he needs an operation????

Google provided this explanation of an epigastric hernia from the Children's Hospitals of Minnesota:

An epigastric hernia, also called a ventral hernia, happens when part of the intestines protrude through the abdominal wall between the belly button and the chest. If the hernia gets bigger, it can trap intestines in the protrusion, leading to intestinal blockage or damage. Epigastric hernias are more common in boys.

Trapping intestines?  Sounds painful.  Intestinal blockage sounds even worse.

Reading on:

Your child may have a bulge or swelling in the abdomen where the hernia is located. Some hernias cause a sharp or dull pain but other hernias cause no pain at all. The bulge or the pain may be worse when your child is standing, sneezing, coughing, or straining to go to the bathroom. If you suspect a hernia, see a physician immediately.

Immediately?  Sounds serious.  I've always thought his rib cage was very pronounced but more that he had sort of a hole underneath, not a bulge.  He hasn't been acting really any different or in pain, except one day a few weeks ago when he was inconsolable but I chalked that up to teething.

And for the part I find the most scary:

An epigastric hernia must be removed during surgery. During surgery, the abdominal contents will be returned to their normal position. Often, a plastic screen or mesh will be used to reinforce the area to make sure the protrusion doesn't occur again. Sometimes, depending on factors like the size, location, and other characteristics of your child's hernia, the hernia repair may be performed laparoscopically, which involves smaller incisions and promotes a faster recovery.

I'm 41 and have never had a "real" surgery so the thought that my less than two-year-old will need one is sort of freaking me out.

Sully was not happy upon hearing the news.

From googling more, I discovered that the surgery is fairly routine and normally done as a day surgery so that makes me feel a little better about things but I'm sure I'll still have a million and one questions for the pediatric surgeon.

I need a little less to worry about, not more, so this had better be it with regards to medical issues.  Oh heck, let's throw in other things as well, medical issues, car issues, plumbing issues, roofing issues, work issues, etc.  I need a break.

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