7:30 Sally and Apryl go back to the operating room. Sally gets freaked out in the OR because of all the commotion. She calms down a little and soon passes out.
8:45 Nurse called to say that surgery has begun. It took a while for anesthesia to put in various IVs and get her prepared.
9:30 Our favorite ortho nurse stopped by to let us know that Sally's rib is out and they now have access to her back. She said that she is doing well and they will let us know as progress is made with cleaning out the abscess.
11:20 Doctor just updated us. He's done with the first part of surgery! This is an answer to prayer!! He said the infection was contained and easy to clean out. Once they opened her up, her tissue was healthy and free of infection. They cleaned the infectious mass out and then removed the vertebrae that were affected. The rib that they removed was long enough for him to cut in half and use both pieces for support. He left one piece connected to the blood supply (it will grow) and anchored both pieces to the healthy vertebrae on top and bottom. Her nerve function is great, and the general surgeon is closing her up right now. He will begin the rod implants shortly and expects that to last for three hours.
12:45 The Doctor called the waiting area and said they have started the second half of the surgery (ie. rod implants). We thought we were already on our way with this, but it took a little longer to get her closed up. Now begins the last three hours of waiting.
3:15 Another update...the surgery is still underway and is still going well!
4:00 Rod implant surgery is over! They are closing her up. The doctor will be out with a report soon.
5:30 Doctor is here--Sally is on her way to ICU. She is doing absolutely wonderful!! Praise God, she's got FULL nerve function, and never even had any blips on the monitor. She lost only 400cc of blood and didn't need a transfusion (he said that is well below average blood loss during the surgery, we were expecting transfusions). The rods are placed, he added bone growth 'helper' to her vertebral column (the 'gutters' along the rods). Her ribs stayed perfectly in place during the flip to her back and we are waiting for x-rays to make sure everything is placed perfectly (chest tubes, etc). He didn't replace her cast, but put her into a splint-like shell to keep her stabilized, for fear that she may startle awake at some point and injure herself. The splint will allow her chest to be monitored more safely. On so many levels the surgery went perfectly--even better than perfect. God has answered our prayers today!
She still has a long road ahead. She will be ventilator for a few days, and still needs to wake up and wiggle her toes (hopefully sometime in the night otherwise they'll do it in the morning). Please THANK GOD for his care today and continue to pray for her as she recovers!