The Surgery Went Well
Just a quick update:
Today's surgery went well. An incision about 1.5 cm long was made just to the right of his stomach, and from there Dr. Roden was able to gain access to his entire abdominal cavity. As it turns out, the meconium blockage is actually in the lower third of the small intestine, which is why the enemas were unable to produce much of a result (there is a sort of valve in between the small and large intestines which is designed to only permit flow in one direction). A slit was made in his small intestine just above the blockage, and within moments the distention above the blockage had been relieved. His ventilator settings were able to be turned down soon afterwards, so it's clear that the distention was indeed placing extra pressure on his lungs, and it's a good thing that it's now gone.
It's uncommon for a meconium blockage to form in a baby's small intestine, but it's not completely unheard of. If it happens in full-term babies, it can be an indicator of cystic fibrosis, but Truman has already been screened for that and it came back negative, so we're not too concerned about that issue. The physicians will now be able to try to move the blockage from both above and below, and hopefully the bowel will be cleared out over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we've been told to expect some water retention in his upper body over the next few days as a standard side effect of this surgery. Once that inflation subsides and he has begun to heal, we hope to start giving him some breast milk, possibly in the next 5 to 7 days.
Overall, the procedure went well and the physicians and nurses are encourgaged by the way he has responded to it thus far. Truman is still under heavy sedation and will most likely be unresponsive more the remainder of the day. We'll keep you all updated as we get the chance.
--Ben & Kara