Sorry it has taken me so long to get around to giving some updates on Jackson. We have been to Primary Children’s Medical Center had an echocardiogram and were able to speak with several fetal cardiologists. The general consensus is that Jackson has transposition of the great arteries (TGA). It’s a relatively common condition among children with congenital heart defects, but still presents some unique challenges for everyone involved. I’ll go into some more detail on this when I get a minute.
We have a pretty solid game plan that goes something like this:
1. Megan will for sure be delivering in Salt Lake City at the University Hospital. She will likely be induced about a week or two early.
2. When the little guy finally arrives, he will be taken immediately to the Cardiac Catheterization lab, where he will undergo a procedure to keep a portion of his heart open. The procedure is called ballon atrial septostomy- for my medical friends. Long story short, they will use a ballon to “pop” a make an otherwise small hole, a little bigger- and allow for oxygenated and unoxygenated blood to mix. Jackson will also be started on a medication called Alprostadil (a trade name for synthetic prostiglandins). The medication has a wide variety of uses, but specifically for Jackson, it will help prevent closure of the ductus arteriosis- another spot in the heart were blood mixes in utero.
3. The hope is that with these two treatments, Jackson’s blood oxygen saturation will increase enough that he will be well enough to gather some strength for the big switch. He will undergo open heart surgery, going on either ECMO or complete bypass (i’m not really sure how they will do that- I’ll find out for sure). They will switch the arteries and bandage him all up. They’ll leave a couple of chest tubes, a central line and a set of pacing cables (if in the event they are needed) for a couple of days.
4. This is where it gets a little “iffy”… as the script goes, Jackson will heal up, his heart will recover in a couple of weeks and we will take him home and live happily ever after- we hope. However there are so many unknown variables when it comes to this operation and condition- coupled with the fact that in medicine this is still a relatively new procedure. They have only been doing this for about 20 years or so. That being said, there is no over 20 years old to see what to expect long term.
Overall these combined procedures have a very high success rate; that being said we are cautiously optimistic, and super super excited. I am so happy that grateful that we have the support system that we have. I’ll continue to blog more about the condition, updates, and things of that nature. Thanks everyone!