We arrived at the hospital around 8:45am yesterday morning. It took about 2 hours to get back to the surgery pre-op area. Once there, the nurses went through the standard pre-surgery protocol (list of meds, blood pressure, O2 sats, blood sugar, risks, etc.).
The pulmonologist talked us right before they rolled Anya back to the operating room around 10:50am. He told us that they were going to balloon the affected area before attempting to put in a metal stent.
Around 11:50am, I went back to the waiting area and saw the pulmonologist standing there waiting for me. He told me that they didn’t put the stent in because she didn’t need it at this time, but he did balloon part of her bronchial lobe to open it up a little bit. He drew me a picture that looked similar to this one:
The part labeled “D” is where the white stuff is located. He said that the white stuff was “slough” (aka dead cells) and not the airway closing up. He actually said that the size of her airway in that area was pretty “normal”. If anything, they will put a stent in later.
It’s crazy how one doctor says one thing and then the next doctor says another. The doctor who did the bronch on Friday was a different doctor than the one yesterday.
Anyways, I think it’s good that they didn’t put the stent in. Even though the procedure is relatively safe, the metal stents tend to harbor unwanted bacteria and fungus, which could cause infections later on. Anya does not need any more infections or colonizations of bacteria in her lungs.
The plan from here on out is to do a bronch every other week to clean and suction the “slough” out of her lungs. I don’t think Anya will have any problems with the healing, since she is breathing pretty good right now.
Without the stent, I think we have a better chance of getting out of here by the spring time. That’d be nice.