another valve job

Stanley was transported to Bridgeport Hospital because he needs to get his valve replaced. When they did the weird echo where they looked at his heart from behind via the esophagus (I just remembered: transesophageal echocardiogram) they found that there was a vegetative growth hanging from the bovine valve he received two years ago. This is what is throwing the clots. So Friday morning bright and early, open heart surgery again, new valve. And they’ll probably fix the calf artery as well (removing the clot).

The same surgeon, Dr. Robinson, as did the first valve job was on hand, along with a cardiologist and an infectious disease doctor (Dr. Lobo, whom I remember from last time and like very much). We are glad Dr. Robinson is handling the surgery—we both trust him a great deal. And they’re being super cautious about making sure Stanley doesn’t pick up any staph infection this time. He will go in for the surgery after they do an ultrasound on his carotids to make sure there are no blockages there—he went tonight, but the doctor who tried to do it because the techs go home at five just threw up her hands—she reads them, she doesn’t do them. Can’t say that I blame her.

I saw the growth this afternoon when they did an echocardiogram. It looks like a piece of string flapping in a strong stream. It’s about 4 centimeters (about two inches) in length. At Norwalk Hospital, they don’t think it’s bacterial, but maybe fungi. At Bridgeport, the leading theory is that the kitty did it—that Stanley got a bacterial infection when one of the cats scratched him. Another theory is that it was left behind after the staph infection two years ago and just recently got ugly. Or it could’ve been from a sinus infection. After they get it out they’ll do what they do to figure out what it is.

When they transported Stanley to Bridgeport, they did not send along the trans. echo CD with him. I don’t know why. So Dr. Robinson sent me off to go get it from Norwalk Hospital. Getting back to Bridgeport during evening rush hour took me a little over an hour for a less-than-20-miles trip.

Oh, I forgot to mention. Having broccoli growing out of a prosthetic heart valve, or even a real one, is rare. So yet again, Stanley makes himself into a publishable subject. Again, go look up “aortic valve vegetative growth” and see if you can find any articles in layperson English about it. I couldn’t (and if you do, please send me the link, I really want it).

Stanley, by the way, loved getting the cheergrams during his last surgery two years ago so much I’m asking folks to send one again:—his full name is Stanley Thompson. I hope this is the last time he’ll need them.

More later, have to get up very early so ...

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