Liver Resection + Postop Complication
Cody underwent a left hepatectomy with bile duct reconstruction and roux en y. This is a fancy way of saying the left half of his liver was removed along with his common bile duct and his small intestine was used to rewire and reconstruct the removed portions. His surgery took over nine hours and he stayed in the recovery room for almost three hours. That day was the longest day of my life. As an OR nurse, I'm more than familiar with the ins and outs of what was going on and I must say it was significantly harder being the one walking to the waiting room than it is to be the one pushing the stretched across the threshold of those double doors. Fortunately, we have a great support system and a handful of family members were there to help provide distractions and remind me to eat.
After what seemed like an eternity, they finally brought Co up to his room. Apparently, he had been a little rowdy in the recovery room and took the liberty of removing his own NG tube and that's what had extended his PACU stay a bit. We were able to settle him and over the next five days he grew stronger and he labs looked fantastic. We were discharged less than a week postop and spent the next few days in Minnesota resting and waiting for the "all clear" to fly home.
Mayo was absolutely incredible. Dr. Smoot and his cohort are the most caring, patient, understanding, knowledgeable, and attentive medical team we have ever encountered. We have nothing but praise for this group of amazing intellectuals and the culture of Mayo. If you ask either of us who we recommend for medical care, we will tell you to head to Mayo in Minnesota every single time.
We were home and back in our own beds with the puppy dogs ten days postop. It was glorious to be home again. Unfortunately, Co was feeling increasingly crummy as the days went by. We were warned that regrowing over half your liver would take its toll, but something just seemed off. Nineteen days postop, Cody woke up in excruciating pain and we found ourselves rushing to a 0400 emergency room visit. After multiple labs and scans, it was determined that an infection had developed in the form of an abscess perched right at the surgical bed of his freshly cut liver. He was admitted and a drain was placed to evacuate the infection. The infection led to a bit of sepsis earning Co a couple night stay in the ICU, followed by an impressive pleural effusion. A chest tube was placed to drain the fluid and his medications were adjusted accordingly. This was the sickest I've ever seen my husband. Simply, it was horrible. However, I married one hell of a strong man and after 10 days in the hospital, he walked out of there and we were home again. He's been recovering well, but the last month has taken a lot out of him, understandably so.
We are grateful for the prayers, good vibes, thoughts, and visitors that made the month of July bearable. We are tired. It's been a long 11 months. But we're still fighting the good fight, Cody's Fight.