Monday, May 25, 2009

the 5:20PM report

Dr. Leiphart, the neurosurgeon who led the team that did Mom's surgery on April 21, came out at 5:20 to tell us how today's surgery went.

The infection had spread further than anyone realized, passing through the skull and through the dura mater, entering the brain and proliferating in the cavity where the main part of the tumor had been removed. The surgeons also had to take care of the scalp problem, as the incision had become jagged because of the infection and scabbing. Re-closing Mom's scalp therefore meant stitching it together "under tension," as the doctor put it. If it turns out that the current closure is too tight, it may become necessary to bring in a plastic surgeon to find a better way to close the skin.

We won't be able to see Mom for another hour. She'll be under close watch, not merely to guard against any physical problems, but also to keep tabs on her mental state, which may have been affected by the infection and this second surgical foray into Mom's brain.

As a result, we no longer know how long Mom will be in the hospital, and we're hearing that her PIC line (for antibiotics) might be in for 6-8 weeks, not 4-6 weeks. On the bright side, it's likely that Mom will be able to resume therapy despite the presence of the PIC line.

Mom will have a "drain" attached to her skull for the next little while. The docs are watching out for brain swelling, and balancing that concern with the need to fight any recurrence of infection.

It's doubtful that Mom is in any shape to receive visitors, especially right now. I'll be sure to let everyone know when she's once again ready to meet the public.

UPDATE (9:58PM): Mom has been moved from the recovery room to the Neuroscience ICU. She's one room away from the room she was in when she first arrived on April 16.


1 comment:

augusta said...

Kevin, I have been out of the loop with your Mom and your saga these last few weeks...back up in Herndon, while my husband was hospitalized for adult chicken pox. I know your Mom is receiving great care from those docs at Inova- but especially from the men in her life that mean the most- your dad, .and his sons...Your family remains in my prayers....