I’m writing from the hospital where my daughter is recovering well from her laryngotracheal reconstruction which occurred Thursday. The surgery went well, and we had a surprise as the doctor decided to remove the trach during this surgery rather than during a future procedure! (Essentially a single stage LTR was performed instead of the first stage of a two-stage LTR.) If June can breathe properly through her repaired trachea and the graft heals well, we will remain trach-free!
June has been sedated and on a ventilator since the surgery so that the neck will remain still while the graft heals. Tomorrow is the big day when they will remove the breathing tube (a “trial of extubation”) and see if she can breathe well through her repaired trachea. If she can’t for any reason, she’ll likely receive another trach at that time.
For those interested in the surgery details, June’s procedure plans changed from two stage to one because in surgery the docs discovered that her crichoid cartilage was partially disintegrated, possibly due to her reactive airway or reflux, or the cause may be a peculiarity that her body’s particular physiology will keep secret. In any case, the crichoid ring was not complete, so the doctor wasn’t able to attach the graft to it in the way she had planned. She decided to place a larger graft that extends from above the stoma to the thyroid cartilage, which includes the area where the original stoma was. So, June got to join the Naked Neck Club (decannulated/trach-free) at lot earlier than planned! At least for five days until her extubation trial tomorrow, when it’s possible she could receive a new trach.
We are very grateful that her surgery went well, and we are thrilled at the surprise decannulation. She is receiving such excellent care on this unit, the Pediatric ICU (PICU). And, we officially won ICU Bingo because with our admission to the PICU, I believe we have been admitted to all of the ICUs and progressive care units of our hospital. Wooohoo! I feel like we should get a badge or pin or keys to the place. At least after-hour elevator keys…that would be amazing.