Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TIPS Procedure

The transplant team had their "big" meeting on Gess today (I wish I could have seen it...apparently all of the "big" doctors were around the table with all of the others around them...sounded like quite a production). I didn't get to hear anything first hand because I had to be in court today, so I will be talking to someone tomorrow and asking some questions.

But the recommendation for now is to do a TIPS procedure to allow some of the blood to bypass the liver, thus reducing the portal hypertension. The idea is that the spleen might reduce in size and his platelets might go up some, which will help with the bleeding. With the procedure, the interventional radiologist goes in and places a stent in the liver. Because it doesn't involve abdominal surgery it shouldn't affect the transplant eligibility.

The idea is that they want to try this first because it is a lot less invasive and drastic than transplant (that's probably the understatement of the year!) and it could potentially help the bleeding, which is the main issue. Gess's lung functions are still relatively good--he's been holding steady at 43% and isn't normally on supplemental oxygen--so that if they can get the bleeding under control, he won't need a lung transplant right now.

I have so many questions and have eaten about a half of a bottle of tums today (not an exaggeration) worrying about all of this, so I am hoping that tomorrow I will be able to ask questions and feel better about everything. They are going to see about scheduling the procedure while he is inpatient, so this could be happening very soon.

1 comment:

  1. Well, at least they have a plan. Hopefully, if I understand this, they can hold off on the lung tx. Liver tx still necessary?? Guess you'll learn more tomorrow. Think of you guys often.