We were able to travel with Benjamin down to the operating room waiting area and give him a pep talk and meet with the doctors before he went in for his surgery. He looked extremely cute, especially since he had all the tape off his face and no feeding tube (npo since 5am). He slept the whole way down and only stirred a little as we were fussing with him.
We are really scared about the whole situation though. This surgery is a last-ditch effort. Since his retinas have already begun to detach because of the ROP, without the surgery there is a 100% of losing all vision. But the surgery is extremely invasive and if it is successful will leave him with very poor vision (if any vision at all). What they are doing is called a vitrectomy which allows them to reattach the retina to the back of the eye while removing the scar tissue that is causing the separation. They will also need to remove the lenses (lensectomy) from both eyes – which is permanent.
The surgeon doing the operation is supposedly one of the best, but even he only gave us 50/50 odds of being able to save vision in one or both eyes. We won’t know for over a month if the retinas reattached properly and won’t know for a while more how bad his vision will be if they do reattach. Best case scenario is really poor vision- as in being legally blind.
It feels a little ridiculous to be wishing and hoping for legal blindness – but it is a million times better than actual blindness. Plus baby glasses are cute – even extremely thick baby glasses.
We are already worried about so many future obstacles Ben will face and knowing he may have to deal with blindness on top of them scares the hell out of us. But I guess we will have to deal with one thing at a time…
For now we are waiting in the lounge – he went into the OR around 4 and the surgery will last 4 hours or so. Might need to get a drink in the meantime (and dinner). We are hoping he won’t need to be intubated for very long after the surgery, but he might take a bit to come down off the anesthesia.
Oh – and not to do a long post without the “good news” part – he is now 5 pounds! And as of tomorrow will be 40 weeks gestational age – Full Term! Happy Supposedtobirthday Benjamin!