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Scoliosis Surgery – VEPTR Rods

Posted Sep 26 2010 4:20pm

Tuesday is the big day. Caden is scheduled for another major surgery this week. He will be getting VEPTR rods placed in his back on both sides of his spine. These rods will be attached to the rear of his rib cage at the top and to his pelvis on the bottom end of the rods. The VEPTR rods are titanium adjustable rods that will need to be lengthen approximately every 6-8 months as Caden grows.

We expect for Caden to be the first or at least a very early case on Tuesday. The actual surgical procedure takes approximately five hours. After Caden is sedated but before the surgery begins they will be drawing some extensive blood work for immunology and endocrinology. These tests take at least ten tubes of blood so we try to wait until Caden needs to be sedated to draw this much blood. Caden’s cardiologist also wants Caden to have a sedated echo cardiogram before they turn Caden onto his belly and begin the back surgery.

Once the surgery is complete Caden will be transferred to the PCICU (Pediatric Cardiology Intensive Care Unit).  Caden will be transferred to a regular room after he has stabilized and no longer requires a help breathing.  The total hospital stay is estimate to be a week to ten days.  In the PCICU Caden will be on telemetry to check to ensure he continues to not have heart blocks. Caden did have a total heart-block during a catheter procedure back in February 2006 where his heart completely stopped and he had to be given chest compressions. After that incident Caden had other heart blocks that eventually led to him getting a pacemaker. Since the removal of the pacemaker two years ago we have been optimistic that Caden would never need a pacemaker again. His cardiologist likes to be a bit more objective in his evaluation of Caden’s cardiac status so they will be watching him closely for at least 24 hours.

This VEPTR rod surgery to correct scoliosis is a very big surgery and has Sherry and I nervous. We are venturing into uncharted territory with a major orthopedic surgery. I say that to lead into our prayer requests leading up to Tuesday.

Prayer Requests

  • Protection from infections for Caden (before, during, and after the surgery)*
  • Peace of mind for Caden
  • Rapid healing for Caden
  • Minimal Pain for Caden
  • Understanding and compassion from Riley and Josiah
  • Protection for Mommy’s and Daddy’s health
  • Discernment for Mommy and Daddy
  • Confirmation that this is the right time for this surgery*

* Caden has been showing signs of ear infection in both ears.  he is already on the most powerful oral antibiotic available and got three rounds of Rocephin injections last week.

How you can help

Sherry and I are often asked what kind of help we need during these lengthy hospitalizations.  The biggest help is to visit us around meal times so we can make a run to the cafeteria without leaving Caden unattended in his room.  Time of particular concern are during breakfast and lunch.  We like to have a family member or friend to be there in the room with Caden to ask doctors and/or techs to return when Sherry and/or I are in the room. 

Thank You

Thank you all for checking on Caden and our family by visiting this blog.  This blog will be updated more frequently over the next couple of weeks so you can check back or subscribe to get an RSS or email updates when a new information is posted. You can also follow me on .

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