I went and saw my vascular surgeon on Thursday afternoon. He had looked at the results of my vein mapping, and agreed with the technician that my larger veins were in my upper left arm (not the upper right arm). He said that the best looking vein is actually kind of deep in the arm, so it might be problematic. He said he will operate on Monday to create a new fistula. The old fistula does not need to be removed.
The surgeon will cut in a fairly large incision from the inside of my elbow, up my arm towards the arm pit (probably 6 inches long). From there, he will dig deep into my arm to get to the vein. He will lift it out close to the surface of the skin, and lay it in an arc across the top of my arm, linking it to an artery near the elbow (to create the fistula). In doing this, he will make the access easier for dialysis (on top of the arm instead of underneath), and he will bring the vein closer to the surface for easier sticking.
The surgery is scheduled for 11:00 am Monday, and should last 1 ½ to 2 hours. Jenny and I are both taking the day off (so she can drive me). I hope to be able to return to work on Tuesday, but I’m not sure. It all depends on how quickly I recover from having my upper arm taken apart (which doesn’t sound like it will be fun, but at least it will be something new that I haven’t done before).
I would really appreciate all the prayers that I can get for Monday during the surgery and for Monday and Tuesday when I am recovering. Please pray for the doctors and the surgery team, and also pray for Jenny as she has to take care of me.
In transplant news, my dad and aunt both mailed in blood that was drawn on Tuesday to be tested against my blood. My guess is that if they do not match, then the transplant office will move out and test non-family donors. Maybe I’ll find out more about that next week, too. Thanks for coming by to read today. I’m sorry this was so short. I’ve got the surgery scheduled, and I’ll let you know more if I learn more.
I am going to attempt to attach a picture of my arm. You can seee the stiches on my elbow, and the drawing on my arm indicating where the veins are. The numbers in the picture are the width (in mm) of the vein. You can see it numbered from 71 to 44 in the picture (my elbow is on the right).