Joshua definitely needs surgery (as we already knew.)
It took a few minutes of poking and prodding to get the hernia to show, but it finally did and the doctor confirmed it was an inguinal hernia that needed to be repaired.
The doctor was excellent. She explained in great detail exactly what a hernia is, what the surgery would entail, all the risks, etc. She even sat down and drew us a little picture of what the hernia is and what she would do. This surgeon has a ton of experience, she has done thousands of hernia repairs. I feel pretty good that our little Joshua will be in good hands.
We have a couple of decisions to make; one is which type of anesthesia we prefer them to use. There are two options: 1) regular general anesthesia where they put him to sleep or 2) a spinal, where he is numb from a certain point down and according to the doctor, where most babies suck their pacifiers and fall asleep for the duration of the surgery. The reason they are doing more spinals now days then previously is because there is some evidence (yet to be fully confirmed by case studies) that general anesthesia may cause very slight brain damage in young babies/children. Our surgeon told us some details, but said we would need to discuss it further with the pediatric anesthesiologist. She said most people still choose general and that the spinal is used more for preemies who may have set backs from a tube down their throat.
Nate & I have yet to discuss it, nor have I done any research (which I will), but I think we’ll probably opt for general anesthesia. As much as I hate the idea of them putting my little guy to sleep with a tube down his throat, the thought of him possibly lying awake on the operating table without me there to comfort him is even more unsettling. And I would think he would still need an IV which he would feel because a spinal wouldn’t numb that, versus the IV after he’s out.
The procedure is relatively quick – about 20-30 minutes of operating time, with an approximate total time of an hour in the OR. It’s outpatient and has a quick recovery, especially for a young baby. The surgeon said that most parents don’t even need to give Tylenol the day after surgery. There are of course risks, but they are very minimal. And this hernia does need to fixed. It is bothering Joshua (although probably not as much as I think) and there is the potential for it to become incarcerated – where the intestine could become trapped, swell up, and then die, which would require emergency surgery with a much greater chance of complications.
We don’t have a date yet – I am waiting for the surgeon’s “scheduler” to call me. The doctor said she knows October 12th is available, but they will try to fit us in sooner. I’ll update when I know more.
Thanks for praying.