This is a blog for my daughter Scarlett. She was born with a complex congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. She is my little hero.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5 1/2 Hour Heart Cath

We are home now. Thank God it was only an overnight hospital stay. I anticipate it to be a 24 hour stay, but you never now, so I also plan for a more than 2 day stay.

Well, the cath itself took a lot longer than I thought. A LOT longer than I thought. I was anticipating 4 hours. But secretly I was thinking it would take 3 or 3 1/2. So when it took 5 1/2 hours, I was starting to worry that something was wrong. The hospital kept calling me every hour to update me. But mostly it was an "Everything is okay, we're just checking her pressures".... then "Everything's okay, we're just sizing the stent".... then "Everything's okay, we're just running some tests".... So hour after hour after hour, I was thinking, ~everything's okay~, because that's what they kept assuring me.

Well.... little did I know that what *actually* happened was that the camera (that is permanently affixed to the floor in the room) that they use in the cath lab BROKE!.... and they had to call the repair man... and then they immediately called another hospital unit that has a mobile (portable) camera that does nearly the same thing as the "real" camera. It is a high-tech camera that they were able to use to complete Scarlett's cath. THANK GOD!

Because Dr. Pophal did not want to have her come out of anesthesia and cancel the procedure all together. So, (thank goodness), instead, he kept her sedated, with the camera/tube in her groin artery, and waited for the portable camera to arrive. Which took about an hour. I am actually G L A D they didn't tell me this, because I would have been flipping out with worry that my baby was under anesthesia for nothing!

In the end, Dr. P was able to do what he needed to do, and he had awesome results. Sometimes, it's almost child-like (in a good way), how Dr. P gets when he gets giddy/excited about great news in the cath lab. Well, this was one of those moments. When Dr. P saw the results of the echo that they did this morning, he was all but jumping up and down and said "This is exactly what I wanted to see!".
She looks miserable in this pic, but she was actually IV free and doing great.

So, before the cath, the pressure on her right ventricle was at 80%...this is bad. It should be around 20-25%. So, this was considered moderate to severe. After the cath it is now at 40% (HALF!!). Also, the left pulmonary artery was at about 2.5mm before the stent, and after the stent it is now at 7mm. Which means that the bloodflow to the left lung (which was at 28% before) has gone up too. We can't quantify/measure it yet, because that would require a lung perfusion study (which means more anesthesia)..., so that might be next on the horizon. But for right now, she's doing great and thank God we're home.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes, support and prayers. Especially Lou, Susan, Linda, Morrine, Mindy, Jolene, and Cherie. Thank you cousin Luke for watching Violet, auntie Melissa for taking Violet to school, and grandma Elva and Elsa for lighting candles and saying rosarys for my baby Scarlett.


  1. Oh that is great news! When I didn't see another Update post yesterday I got worried and kept checking int! I am so glad she did well and her numbers look better!! What a trooper she is!!


  2. That is great! So glad to hear that it is working as Dr. Pophal hoped it would! He's an awesome Cardiologist!!!