January 8, 2008

Whitney's Surgery

Whitney's surgery to repair her myelomeningocele took about four hours today. As we mentioned yesterday, Whitney's lesion was a little larger than a half dollar. It was slightly wider than it was long. The area under the skin was somewhat larger yet. Our pediatric neurosurgeon operated to place the spinal cord back in the spine. That part of the operation took about two hours. The pediatric plastic surgeon took the better part of an additional two hours to close the skin and muscle over the wound.

Both surgeons gave us positive reports. The pediatric neurosurgeon reported that the injury to Whitney's spinal cord started around L3-L4 (lumbar vertebrae 3 & 4 or roughly near her waist), which is slightly lower than we expected. She retains a small measure of nerve function below that point. The surgeon explained that Whitney will need to lay on her stomach or side for roughly two weeks until the wound heals.

The pediatric plastic surgeon reported that the skin closure went well. If Whitney did not have enough skin around the lesion, the plastic surgeon would have had to make additional incisions to gather more skin from Whitney's sides or use skin grafts. Praise God that the plastic surgeon was able to pull her skin together without resorting to either process.

Whitney is now back in the NICU recovering from surgery. We are going down to see her in a few minutes.


Angela Klompien said...

Dear Matt & Susan,
First of all, congratulations on the birth of Whitney! She is beautiful! Thanks for posting the pictures, the kids were really thrilled to be able to see her.
Know that we are praying for all of you and will continue on in this in the weeks and months to come. WE are rejoicing with you in the good reports that you have received so far.
May the Lord bless all four of you and give you all that you need for the days to come.
Please let us know if there is anything that we can do for you.
We love you guys!
In His Love,
on behalf of the Klompien's

Psalm 139:14 & Psalm 127:3-5

Anonymous said...

Yeah you guys! I LOVE how the LORDS plans are already so determined and as HIS servants we just need to TRUST HIM...and that is the TWO of you! WOW. Whitney is ABSOLUTLEY BEAUTIFUL ( I could NOT tell from the photo that was posted that she has a set of lungs though...but I will trust you on that one...! :-)
The two of you do as much resting and recovering as you can as now the Lord has truely blessed you with two wonderful girls to raise to LOVE Him and worship Him. What an honor...what a BLESSING...what a miracle. I am looking forward to seeing the FOUR of you ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE UNITED! Oh what a blessing that will be! Keep the faith...we will keep praying. May His blessings continue to flow upon you with each new day.
In Christs love,

Anonymous said...

We are rejoicing with you that the surgery went well! We pray for a quick recovery- thanks for keeping things updated for us to keep in specific prayer.
The Wiese's

Anonymous said...

Brown hair huh? I see some red from Susan's family ... that would also explain the set of lungs :) Rest, revel and know that the Lord has everything all figured out. Congratulations to your growing family. We will keep the office/shop posted from your website in the lunch room. From experience ...beware of day 3 after your C-section. It feels like they put M-80's in your gut when they stitched you back together:) HA! Sara VanLaan on behalf of the fam.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby. I happened upon your blog when I was researching. My 15-month-old daughter developed hydrocephalus shortly after birth. She has a reservoir and shunt and is doing extremely well. Hopefully Whitney can avoid the shunt, but if she needs one it's not the end of the world. Having a "special needs" child just makes her even more special. Here's some unsolicited advice on life in the NICU (we were also at DeVos): limit those visitors and watch over Whitney like a pit bull. Don't let anyone NEAR her without using Avaguard. Don't touch anything that hits the floor. I can highly recommend Becky H. as a nurse who knows what she's doing. The best to you all.