Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pre-Op Appointment

We had Gavin's pre-op appointment with Dr. Martin today, as well as his pre-anesthesia appointment. During the pre-op, Dr. Martin explained that the surgery will take about 3 hours. Gavin will be put under using a gas mask and then the IV will be put in. That was such great news because I don't want him to be in pain.  He said that the surgery involves a lot of geometry; they have to measure everything and figure out how to repair it in the most aesthetically pleasing way.  Gavin's nose will have to be repaired during the surgery as well, since the nose generally stays flat otherwise.  He will have to wear tubes in his nose for 1-3 weeks after surgery, but the longer the better.  They only remove them at 1 week if there is irritation.  They will use removable sutures to repair his lip.  His alveolar ridge (gum area) will be repaired as well.  It seems like we misunderstood the information about the gum repair we were given earlier.  It will still need to be repaired, but then the bone will generally fuse together after the gum is repaired.  He said in 90% of cases, no additional surgeries are needed, but in the other 10%, they decide later that what was done can be improved upon and an additional surgery is done.  He will have to wear arm restraints for about 2-3 weeks after surgery, which can only be removed during baths.  This will be rough since Gavin always sleeps on his tummy, but he will have to sleep on his back to keep from rubbing his face on the bed.  Overall, the pre-op appointment went great.  Gav was in a good mood and, despite missing out on his usual morning nap, he was all smiles.  That's more than I can say for myself, since I cried during the meeting with the doctor!

After that, we went straight to the pre-anesthesia appointment, where they evaluate Gavin's health history and check him for anemia by doing a finger-prick blood test.  The finger-prick test was tougher on me than Gavin.  After it was done, he cried for about 30 seconds, but then he fell asleep in my arms, while I held his tiny hand and applied pressure to his little thumb like the nurse asked me to.  It's moments like that when I think, darn car seats!  Why can't we live in the days when moms could cuddle their little ones in the car rather than sticking them in the cold car seat?  LOL.  They also gave us some good news: Gavin only has to refrain from eating for 4 hours prior to surgery.  The original paperwork said no eating after midnight.  I didn't know how we were going to accomplish that since Gav wakes up around 5:30 each morning to eat and letting him cry in hunger would just break my heart!  But they said breast-fed babies can eat 4 hours prior to surgery, while formula-fed babies require 6 hours because breast milk breaks down faster.  So next Monday, on surgery day, we will wake Gav up and feed him 4 hours before his surgery time and then hope he goes back to sleep and doesn't want to eat again before we leave.

Anyway, Gav was just an angel all day.  The nurses at the pre-anesthesia appointment commented on how content he was and how nothing seemed to bother him.  He even gave them a few smiles, which they loved.  It's that sweet smile that I am going to miss so much.  I've still been trying to get more pictures of that adorable smile, but it is so hard, since he becomes mesmerized by the camera every time I whip it out and stops smiling.  But I managed to get a few good ones last night.  Here is one for you to enjoy!

Cuddling with Daddy after a long day at Loma Linda:


  1. One of the things we did for Rachel when she had her surgeries and was forced to wear the restraints was that she slept in her car seat. I know that sounds uncomfortable, but it was the only way she could get comfy with the restraints on.

    WHen she was in her carried, we simply strapped her in, and put the carrier right into her crib, that way she was in her familiar surroundings for sleeping, naps, etc.

    When she grew older and was in the 5 pt car seat, we put our extra one in the crib as well. And buckled her in.

    She slept perfectly fine and never once had a problem. We did it for for the 3 weeks she had the restraints on.

    Glad Gavin was in good spirits for his appointments today!

  2. Hello--I saw your blog on ABC Frye and had to comment! My Riley was born in April with an incomplete bilateral cleft lip. Her palate is intact. I couldn't tell from your posts if Gavin's palate is involved, but we too have had bottle woes. I'm currently pumping. We started out on the Haberman feeders--Riley would eat but not very well. Then tried Dr Brown's--again she would eat but not too great. Then tried Avent--she hated them! Then finally Platex Nursers--she loves them! She can down a 4oz bottle in 10 minutes! She's eating so much better...Gavin is such a cutie! Good luck with the upcoming surgery!