Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Possum has emergency heart surgery!

Just 2 weeks ago we went to a routine cardiac appointment only to be told that Possum had systemic pulmonary hypertension! He was immediately put on medication to reduce the pressures in his lungs and we were told that he would need surgery later in the year to fix his PDA.

Over the ensuing days Possum became breathless and wasn't feeding well. I took him to the emergency department and after consultation with numerous doctors it was found that the medication had worked too well and Possum had heart failure and pulmonary oedema.

We were transferred to the major children's hospital and after more discussion it was decided that Possum would have surgery to fix his PDA as soon as possible. The surgery was organised for the following day.

The operation went smoothly. Possum was cut under the arm about level with the shoulder blade. His lung was deflated and pushed aside and the PDA was ligated. He was ventilated for about 24 hours following the surgery and spent that time in PICU. During his time in PICU they weaned him off the sedation and morphine. The extubation was a little rocky for the first hour or so but after a couple of rounds of meds he was breathing on his own again, phew! He remained on supplementary oxygen for a further 24 hours. He resumed breastfeeding like a champ!

Possum in PICU

During our stay in the hospital it became evident that Possum has apnoeas when he is asleep. As a result we are now on apnoea monitoring when he is asleep and in his car seat. We have also now been told that he has a further heart condition, an ASD and we hope to find more out about that at our follow up cardio appointment in a couple of weeks time.


  1. Those photos bring back memories :( Brendan was in the bed on the left for a week.

    Hope he's doing much better now x

  2. He is doing much better now Sally, thanks :) We are headed back for a sedated echo on 13/12, fingers crossed the results are good and that he handles the sedation ok.

    Hope Brendan is doing well now too xx


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