8:45pm Abby is doing well! She is still pretty drowsy, but has been stable on room air since leaving the OR (she was already extubated when we first got to see her). She looks very different - they expanded her forehead quite a bit to provide a cover for her eyes and leave plenty of room for brain growth. She has a little swelling right now, but we've been warned that it will get much worse, and her eyes will most likely swell shut in the next couple of days. It's an adjustment to see her face looking so different, but we won't really have a good idea of what it truly looks like until the swelling dissipates in a few weeks. The plastic surgeon explained that he over-corrected her forehead and orbits to account for some shifting as her skin tries to pull her skull back to where it was. No matter what it looks like, in the long run we are thrilled that they were able to successfully complete this surgery without any anesthesia complications and minimal blood loss. The next 24 hours are still pretty critical regarding risk of complications, but she is in the PICU and they are keeping a close eye on her. Depending on how tonight goes, she may be able to head back to the neuro floor tomorrow, but I don't want to count our chickens before they hatch. Tonight's plan is to try to get a little food in her belly and stay ahead of her pain and any potential breathing complications. Thank you so much for all of your love and support today. We are exhausted, but very happy with how everything went.
3:10pm She is headed to recovery!!! Everyone seems very pleased with how she did and the results they were able to achieve. It sounds as though the pressure was caught just in time before it caused any lasting effects that they would be able to observe during the surgery. She will be very swollen for the next few days and they will continue to monitor her pressures through a drain in her head (they removed the lumbar drain). Obviously they will keep a vigilant eye during recovery, but so far we could not be happier with the reports we are getting!
2:15pm The reconstruction is complete! They are closing up her incision and will hopefully be coming out to talk to us soon. From what we've gathered, she did great.
10:30am Surgery has officially started. It took a bit to put her under anesthesia safely, get all of her lines in, and get her head prepped (she's bald again). We anticipate this surgery taking approximately 5 hours. We're getting fancy updates from the OR through an app, as well as from the waiting room attendant. It sounds like everything is going smoothly so far and that she hasn't given the anesthesia team any trouble.
8:45am: They just took her back. The cardiac anesthesiologist did a good job of scaring the crap out of us, but he said he was up to the task and would take care of her as if she were his daughter. We're having kind of tough time this morning, as this week has been a bit of an avalanche of information and concerns, but we're hopeful that Abby will be her strong, resilient self through everything.
Well, here we go again. I will do my best to keep this post updated throughout the day. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!