Monday, September 3, 2007
The article below explains what the doctors are suspecting that Jack has. There are two aortic arches that form a ring around his esophagus and trachea. The Doctors believe that this is the cause of the difficulty in ventilating him properly. When Jack is agitated the vascular ring clamps down on his trachea which in turn blocks the air from the endotracheal tube trying to enter his lungs. From the article it appears that there are very few cases in which this is found in conjunction with transposition of the great arteries, however the article is 8 years old. This necesitates another operation order to redirect the aorta from the trachea and esophagus. Dr. Hawkins told us this is the first time that he has ever seen both the transposition and the double aortic arch in the same patient and he has done almost 200 arterial switch operations. Normally the two defects present themselves separately. He has explained that this shouldn't be something terribly difficult for him to correct, however, there is a nerve that is very close to the aorta that leads to the vocal chord that if disturbed can make it impossible for Jack to breathe on his own. In order to avoid this the surgeon will enter on the side of Jack through his ribs. They would like to get Jack weened off all of his blood pressure medication and as stable as possible prior to the surgery so we don't anticipate this happening at least for a few days. We will keep you posted.