Here We Go Again: the Cardiac Cath
I apologize for the lack of updates lately: it’s been super busy! I did want to come here and give my readers an update on Nolan as we begin preparations for his third – and hopefully final – surgery, the Fontan Procedure. First, however, he will need to get a Cardiac Catheterization procedure, just like he did before the Glenn Procedure.
So you might be asking: what the heck is a cardiac cath? Or maybe you’ve got one coming up for your kiddo and you want to learn more. Well here’s a little bit of information:
A heart cath is essentially a procedure to look more closely at a heart’s function, even better than an echo. Your kiddo will be sedated and possibly put under anesthesia. Doctors will insert a catheter, which is a thin tube, into a blood vessel in the leg, groin, arm, or neck (Nolan’s cath will have at least leg and neck due to the Glenn shunt).
Using the catheter the doctor will be able to get a really good look at your child’s heart structure. He or she will also use the catheter to test the pressures in the heart and check blood flow through the heart.
Depending on your child’s CHD and the condition of his or her heart, the doctor can also use this opportunity for treatments or repairs. They can place stents to keep arteries open, use a balloon to open valves or blood vessels, and even close off certain parts.
Typically kids stay in the hospital for monitoring until their O2 levels return to normal: sometimes this can require an overnight stay. I’ve been told it’s rare for kids to have major complications from a cath procedure. The only things to look out for is discomfort around the entry point(s) and making sure to keep bandages on as long as instructed. Of course, be sure to follow all the doctor’s instructions.
Tomorrow morning, March 15th at 6am we will bring him to Levine Children’s Hospital and he will be in the hands of an amazing cardiac cath team. This is our second time bringing in Nolan for a cath and while this procedure isn’t as major as a full-blown surgery, it nonetheless has me nervous. You know I never want my little man to be uncomfortable or scared, so he’ll be receiving lots of love and snuggles! As always, we really appreciate all your prayers, kind thoughts, and positive vibes! If you want to get more real-time updates on Nolan and his cath, please be sure to visit his Facebook page…and click like too! Thank you all!!!