Gannon’s Surgery: Complications Part One

Remember how I said I wasn’t going to post about Gannon for a fourth day in a row? I lied.

As many of you know, Gannon’s “simple” procedure got a lot more complicated than we expected. We ended up staying a full 24 hours in the hospital longer than we initially expected to.

The lobby of the children’s hospital is BEAUTIFUL!

Gannon was scheduled for an orchiopexy surgery. When a baby boy is forming in utero, the testicles begin in the abdomen and move their way down into the scrotum. Gannon’s left testicle made it about halfway there and then came down on its own when he was about 3 months old but the right one never did. This is fairly common and a simple procedure around the age of one can take care of it. They end up pinning the testicle in place.

Craig and I woke up early Tuesday morning – our alarm was set for 4 am. We live 2 hours away from Iowa City where Gannon’s specialists are and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s hospital. Our arrival time was 7 am so we needed to be on the road at least by 4:45.

We got all settled, got into our PACU (peri anesthesia care unit) (aka your room where you prep for surgery and recover from surgery). About a million people came and introduced themselves to us and asked a million questions each.

We met a few of our favorites who stuck with us throughout the day. Dr. Storm is Gannon’s urologist. He came in and introduced himself again. We had only seen him once in October for Gannon’s pre op appointment. He explained the procedure. He had several people following him and learning from him so we met all of them too.

Our PACU nurse Kelly was so so so great. She had a student – Ana following her who was equally as awesome. Ana spent plenty of extra time with Gannon and followed him all the way from arrival through surgery and our admission.

We also met Gannon’s anesthesia team who explained all pain relief measures they would be taking to keep Gannon comfortable. They ended up giving Gannon a block – similar to an epidural – called a caudle block to last several hours after his surgery. They also gave him some “sleepy juice” to make sure Gannon doesn’t remember the pre op and post op care.

Gannon tolerates all of this so so well. He lets them take his blood pressure and put the pulse ox on his foot, he’s just so chill. Usually babies fight everything so much. Not my Ganjo. He’s as patient as the day is long.

Before long Gannon was off. We were told it was a 2.5 hour procedure which I had no idea it would take that long. I was expecting it to take maybe 1/2 hour. Everything up until this point made me believe it was pretty quick and simple.

Gannon and his anesthesiologists.

We got updates every half hour. We were told to keep my phone on loud and not to leave the hospital and there was a patient liaison that called to give updates. Then an unexpected call came.

It was Dr. Storm. Everything was okay but they found two inguinal hernias (holes in the abdominal wall) in Gannon’s groin and wanted my permission to repair them. Of course I said yes.

Our DELICIOUS breakfast!

We continued to wait. We got an AWESOME breakfast in the cafeteria. About 2 hours later Dr. Storm came to talk to us. I’m trying to figure out how to explain this next part but it’s complicated.

Essentially there are two blood supplies to the testicle: One from up above and one from down below. Gannon’s blood vessels from up top didn’t allow them to stretch the testicle down to where it needed to be so they cut off the blood supply from above completely and will rely on the other form of blood flow to perfuse the testicle. This only happens in about 15% of cases of cryptorchidism or undescended testicles.

Then the inguinal hernias were discovered which created two more incisions than initially planned. Then they also noticed a hydrocele of the left testicle which is extra fluid and needed to drain that as well.

So instead of 3 incisions, Gannon has 7. This is all okay and fine but again, just more than we expected. We thanked Dr. Storm. Obviously he did a phenomenal job and was so great about explaining EVERYTHING to us in detail.

After he left, he told us that Gannon was in recovery and we could go see him soon and someone would come to get us. We waited..and waited..and waited…45 minutes had passed. Where was Gannon?

OOFDA! This is getting to be a LONG blog post. I’m going to have to break it into chunks. Check back again at 5:30 PM tonight for Part II of this blog post. I’m off to bed in my VERY OWN BED after I showered in my VERY OWN SHOWER! I’m learning to appreciate normalcy!

See you again tonight! Sorry for the cliff hanger – I’m zonked out tired!

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