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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vocal Cord Surgery Day

Hallie and Sharon were off to CHOP bright and early this morning so that Hallie could be prepped and sedated for her latest round of vocal cord bulking.  At least this time they did not need to be there at 6:00am and instead had a comparatively late arrival time of 7:00.

Even though Hallie would like her big voice back (since whatever benefits of the temporary bulking have long been reversed and it's nearly impossible again to hear the kid), she was quite nervous and scared about the impending surgery.  Over the past few days, we've been discussing it with her in preparation for this morning.  She remembers the last round and we find it much better not to try to spring difficult things upon the kid; introducing things to her via social stories is far preferable. Hallie generally is a model patient and letting her know in advance what is expected of her usually works quite well.

Anyway, we do hope that the surgery proceeds as quickly and smoothly as it did last time.  The worst part is the anesthesia (coming out of it more than the process of sedation).  But the surgery itself is very quick (it took five minutes last time; however, it's quite high tech and involves robot-guided needles attached to cameras that inject the paralyzed vocal cord with an expensive bulking agent.  Dr. K. will guide the robot by watching the action on a computer screen.  It's all pretty amazing stuff and we are lucky to live so close to CHOP, which is one of the few places where this sort of surgery is done.  I think the last surgery, which was just a test using saline, cost something like $15,000.  This one is probably going to be even more expensive.  Thank goodness we have insurance coverage and our insurance isn't giving us a hard time about paying for this surgery).

Anyway, to give you an idea of what Hallie's voice will sound like, I am uploading a couple of videos I took at her last ENT testing.  This was about two and a half months after the last surgery was done and half of the benefits of that surgery had already worn off, but  this should give you some sense of Hallie's vocal quality.  We are hoping that what we are able to hear from her after today's surgery is better than this but bear in mind that the voice you will hear when you listen to these videos is MUCH stronger than her voice was pre-operatively:

I will update later on today to let everyone who reads this know how things went!


Anne said...

I hope it all goes well! Keep me posted!

Amanda K said...

I've been thinking about her all day. Crossing my fingers that all goes as planned.

Meghan said...

What an amazingly patient little girl you have! And her eye contact in the video wasn't bad either. Way to go Brave Hallie!!!!