We have to leave for the hospital at 5 a.m., needing to be at Emory at 5:30. It should be 5:30-7 a.m. for prepping & anesthesia; should get into the operating room at 7 a.m. The operation is expected to take 8-10 hours and is complicated. Dr. Keoghan walked us through the steps,
1. Get me on the heart/lung machine, make an incision in my femoral artery to get to the blood vessels at the bottom of the heart, and stop my heart.
2. Take down my existing blood flow “Fontan” procedure.
3. Recreate a standard blood flow; working on the superior vena cava to circulate blood to the top half of the body; the inferior vena cava to circulate blood to the lungs.
4. Open the atrium wall between the right & left atrium chambers, removing the atrial septum – making the top 2 chambers into 1 big chamber.
5. Replace the mitral valve with a mechanical valve.
6. Shrink the right atrium.
7. Maze procedure to correct the rhythm problem – install a pacemaker underneath the heart.
So…this is not your grandma’s heart surgery. It amazes me that anyone can take a look at human anatomy & not believe in God.