Tuesday, November 1, 2011

and Dr Kaplan paid a visit...

He confirmed the surgery for tomorrow to install the shunt in the brain (it is, in fact, brain surgery). A shunt is a little peace of plastic pipe with a one way valve in it, which can be adjusted for flow rate. One end is in her ventricle sucking up fluid (actually using gravity) the other end is put into her abdominal cavity. That way it is an enclosed system and reduces risk of infection (as compared to having the tube outside the skin and expelled). The fluid in the brain is drawn down and pressure relieved, and it is absorbed by the body in the abdomen. The neurosurgeon bores the hole in the skull and threads the plastic pipe to the ventricle (a tricky bit of maneuvering) and then a general surgeon runs it under the skin to the abdominal cavity.

Dr Kaplan said we didn't need to make the decision about radiation yet. He wants to wait at least ten days and have her recover and get stable and see how she's doing. He confirmed, no chemo.


  1. I rarely see comments in response to your posts but I felt that this time it could not wait.
    Although we have never met and you wouldn't know be from Adam (or Eve in this case) you, your lovely wife, and your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    The way you have chronicled this incredible journey has been awe inspiring. It feels instrusive knowing so much about your family yet being a complete stranger. However I'm certain that I speak for many of us 'strangers' out here who are keeping you all close to our hearts and wishing you strength and peace. Betty in NC

  2. thank you Betty, I appreciate your very nice and thoughtful comment