Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Galatas's Surgery at Walter Reed Postponed 08/01/06
Monday's meeting with General Surgeon Dr. Cormady and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Kolb at Walter Reed Army Medical Center led to the decision to postpone SFC Galatas's surgery until August 24th. Both surgeons agree that due to the location of the ostomy and the size of his open hernia, his ostomy reversal and abdominal closure is indeed a challenge. Norris's open abdomen measures 20 centimeters across, the maximum for Dr. Kolb. He said any more than that he doesn't attempt to close. Even with successful surgery, Norris may still not be totally "together" down his abdomen. The surgeons will strengthen the area with permant mesh and cover it with a skin graft.
The decision to postpone the surgery came from lab results showing nicotine in Norris's system. "We always checked the box for "non-smoke,r" Janis said, "but we never thought to mention his dipping snuff". "Nicotine constricts the blood vessles and restricts blood flow to tissue," said Dr. Kolb. "I will go in and split the facia muscles like you would slice a steak in half horizontally, and I want both pieces to have excellent blood flow. Getting Galatas off nicotine for three weeks will enhance his chance of healing, and we want to give him every chance for this to succeed."
"Norris is understandably upset", said Janis, "because he has been waiting since July, 2005, to get this done. However, he has healed nicely with all the other surgeries and this will only make it better. He will get over it. He always does." Janis said she will be returning home to care for the animals until time to return to Walter Reed for the surgery. "This time I'll wait until we get the final "OK" before I travel," she said, "but we had some fun together for a couple of weeks. Please tell everyone to bear with us...I know it has been stressful for all our friends and supporters to have to wait with us," Janis said, "because these kinds of injuries take years to heal, but when this is finally over, we can look back at the photos and close the book with a "before" and "after" photo!"
Posted by Kat at 12:40 PM