I met with the pediatric neurosurgeon on Thursday. It was an early appointment at 7:45 and Steve was unable get time off of work so a friend of mine from work , Sherrie, said she would keep me company. We left Lincoln around 6:15. It was an early morning for me, especially since my most popular wake-up time is 8:30 :) (I'm definately NOT a morning person)
We met with Dr. Puccioni and his P.A. around 8 am. They were very informative and were able to look at the fetal MRI that I had done around 23 weeks. They said that a MRI would be done on the baby the day he's born and they'll form a plan from there. He said most likely the plan will be a shunt within 24 hours. He also told us shunts malfuction or plug up very frequently. He said we have a 75% chance of the shunt malfuctioning within a year. That was a bit disheartening; but the Dr. said that a shunt is really our only option for a child under a year old. The surgery will take around 45 minutes and he does this surgery very routinely.
Once he hits a year old, we can have a different plan of attack. He states that if/when the shunt malfunctions after 1 year of age he can do what is called an "endoscopic third ventriculostomy" or ETV. Basically this is a procedure that would open the ventricles that are blocked into another area that is not blocked by way of laser. This would end his need for a shunt as the fluid would drain through this new hole to where it needs to go. This cannot be done before 1 year of age because it only has a 20% success rate in children under 1 year old (it frequently closes on newborns). He said his success rate with ETV after 1 year of age is 80%. That was very promising for us.
I hope that's not too much medical jargon; but basically that was the synopsis of our appointment. I was very impressed with Dr. Puccioni; not only for his knowledge; but also his wonderful "bedside manner". I know our baby boy will be in the best of hands when he is born. We have an excellent team set up for the two of us. We are feeling VERY blessed!
I hope our next blog will have pictures. Maybe I'll post some pictures of the fun things the kids are doing!