After a short postponement from September 2, Graham's surgery on September 6 to repair his omphalocele was a resounding success, well beyond our greatest expectations. Dr. West was able to place his liver ENTIRELY into the abdominal cavity. She was also able to close the abdominal wall (actually his oblique muscles) to within in a scant two inches, an area that required an artificial mesh (alloderm) to connect the gap.
The regimen of tissue expansion Graham endured over the last eight weeks paid off. There was easily enough skin to cover the area. The bonus: with everything neatly tucked inside and a relatively flat tummy, the plastic surgeon (Dr. Havlik) was able to fashion a bellybutton for Graham. At some point in the future, the alloderm will be removed and his own muscles joined to form a natural closure.
The surgery lasted a grueling six hours, so it is no surprise that Graham's recovery has been rough. He was fitful and unable to sleep the night of surgery and the following day. But finally, the right combination of drugs was found to control pain and sedate him, but not repress respiration.
Graham is now resting easier and sleeping more comfortably. We expect him to leave the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit within the next twenty-four hours and transfer to the surgerical floor of the hospital. Needless to say, Mom and Dad are a bit sleep-deprived, but relieved that Graham is beginning to emerge from the fog of drugs. We are all euphoric over the success of the surgery and looking forward to seeing the old Mr. Personality with his new slim look.