Sunday, February 21, 2010

Heart Cath Info

Late last Friday, we received some additional information from MUSC regarding Chase's cath procedure, which as you know as been rescheduled for this Thursday, Feb. 25th. I figured some of you may not know what exactly a heart cath is or why it's done, so I thought I'd share some of the information we received from MUSC.
The purpose of this test is to determine the details and severity of the heart condition your child has, which will help us decide what kind of treatment would be most beneficial. Heart catheterization is done by inserting a long, narrow, hollow tube called a catheter into an artery and a vein, usually in the thigh near the groin and passing the catheter up the blood vessel into the heart. Movement of the catheter up the blood vessels and inside the heart is observed on x-ray. Once the catheter has reached the heart chambers or main blood vessels, pressures are measured and samples of blood are withdrawn through it for oxygen measurement. This is followed by the injection of iodine-containing x-ray dye so that movies may be taken of the heart and vessels. Electrical recording and stimulation of the heart may be performed using different catheters if there is a known or suspected problem with the heart rate or rhythm. In some cases, catheter treatment with balloon dilation of narrow valves, stenting of narrowed blood vessels, closure of abnormal holes or vessels or treatment of electrical abnormalities will be done. If there are any interventions or other tests, it will be performed at that time.

The detailed and exact diagnosis of the heart condition will make future treatment safer and more effective. When heart catheterizations are done, there is a chance that complications can develop; but the chance of a complication is related to the severity of the heart defect and complexity of the procedure.

A sedative will be given prior to the test and most patients sleep through the test, which will take about three hours. Local anesthesia with a novocaine-like drug is used so that patients experience only minimal discomfort during the procedure.
So that's a snapshot of what we have to look forward to on Thursday. Thankfully, God has ordained this procedure at this time and has worked out every detail on our behalf. My mom is available to keep LO for us so hubs and I can take Chase to Charleston and focus on him. Praise the Lord!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers, especially Chase. He won't be able to eat after midnight so he'll have to go 10-12 hours (at least!) without eating. And that's assuming we don't get "bumped" to a later appointment time (I hear that unfortunately happens often). Chase is my little Rock Star and I know he'll handle everything amazingly (probably much better than his mommy!).

We know God already knows what lies ahead later this week as well as in the months and years ahead, so I'm doing my best not to stress out or worry. I know whatever they find on Thursday, Chase's medical team at MUSC will make the necessary decisions regarding his next surgery and do whatever is in his best interest. Please pray for the medical team, the doctor performing the cath procedure (Dr. Baker), his staff and everyone who will be working with Chase. We covet the prayers of our family and friends (and blog readers, too!) and realize we wouldn't be able to make it through all of this without those prayers!

Thank you in advance for following our journey, praying for our sweet boy and providing much-needed encouragement along the way.