Four years ago, my mother had her gallbladder removed. During this common procedure, her surgeon cut her main bile duct by mistake. The surgeon came out in the middle of surgery, and told me what had happened. He told me he would have to do reconstructive surgery to repair the mistake. During the repair, a tube was placed inside the reconstructed duct, that also came out mom's side. Shortly after the surgery mishap in Cedar Rapids, Ia, we decided to go to Iowa City, for a second opinion. We made the right choice, as U of I Hospital had a specialist surgeon, that had seen her bile duct injury, more times than one would think. From that point on, mom had to go to radiology every 8 weeks At her 8 week appointments, the tube had to be changed out for a new one, to prevent infection.They would also check to see if scar tissue was forming and closing up the repaired intestine/ bile duct. If scar tissue was closing the repaired opening, they would have to roto rooter it open again. Four years, she had that tube that exited out her side. Sometimes she would have to attach a bag to the tube, because so much bile was draining out of it. Otherwise the tube was capped off. She had to flush the tube inside her, daily with sterile saline water. Most of the time, the bile would start to leak out around the tube, onto her skin causing it to be raw, from the constant acid eating bile. She would have to then return to the hospital for another procedure to change out the tube and get a new one placed. The procedure included her being put under, with conscious sedation. At every procedure, she had to sign papers, stating that she accepted the risks of infection, another mishap, puncturing of her organs, uncontrolled bleeding, or death. Prior to laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery, bile duct injury seldom happen. But now 1 out of every 100 surgery's using the laparoscopic method, ends in bile duct injury. Mom's new surgeon in Iowa City wanted to see if mom's repair would heal, stay open, then eventually, the tube could be removed. After two years of no success, mom asked her surgeon if he would do another repair. He said the surgery would be too risky, at her age. Four years later, mom's trips to Iowa City seem to be increasing. Once, she made 3 trips in one week. She also had built up a very sizable debt to the U of I Hospital, for her part after insurance and Medicare coverage. Finally, her surgeon agreed to do another reconstructive repair. He realized her injury had consumed her life. She could never make plans to go any where, because of her situation. Once she flew down to Alabama to see the girls. A few days after she arrived, her tube fell out (a first). Tiffany had to take off 2 days of work, because the nearest Dr. that could handle the situation was not available until the next day. She also feared being somewhere, where there was no one who was specialized, and she did not want to take the risk with just anyone. The plan was for mom to have the surgery when we got home in September. Her surgery was scheduled for September 14, 2010. We needed to be there earlier, so I could get her to Iowa City for pre- surgery test, and appointments.
|Here is my mother, June shortly before we left. We give God all the Praise and Glory for guiding the surgeon's hands for a safe surgery!|
|A few days before we left, my little sister came to see mom. Ozzie, her dog was enjoying mom's chair,|
|and Mallery was enjoying another.|