Friday, July 26, 2013

G-Button Surgery

Tuesday morning at 6 am, Landon had his last food for 14 1/2 hours.We arrived at Children's Hospital in Omaha at 10 and, after some preliminary bloodwork and exams, Goat's surgery began at noon. Karen and I were incredibly impressed by how good a sport Landon was all morning. He only fussed for about 30 minutes when his 9 am feeding was skipped and was otherwise content all morning. Even after his surgery in the afternoon, Landon rarely cried as long as Karen or I was holding him. I think I would have probably fussed more after that procedure.

During the 30 minute procedure, a surgeon inserted a laparoscope through a small incision in Landon's belly button. Using the laparoscope as a guide, he then sutured the stomach and body wall together. When he was confident there was a good seal, he cut a fistula (hole into an organ) into Landon's stomach and inserted the gastric plug we feed him through. We were told that he was very fussy as soon as he awoke from surgery but as soon as Karen started talking to him he fell back into a deep sleep. Landon cried periodically after the procedure but I was surprised by how happy he seemed, especially because he was only given children's tylenol for pain control.

We slept in the hospital Tuesday night and were pleasantly surprised on Wednesday morning to find out we would be going home in the early afternoon instead of after 6 as we originally planned. After a quick lunch and a few goodbyes we were headed back to Kansas with a happy, tube-free baby! Almost immediately after the NG tube was gone we noticed Landon smiling. We rarely saw him smile before the operation and attributed them to gas. He now gets big smiles after burps, when he hears Karen's voice, and just spontaneously when he's happy. Each little grin brightens our day and we can tell he is obviously happier now. His face has already started clearing up from the rashes that break out under his tape and he doesn't whistle when he breathes through his nose anymore.

The site where the g-tube enters his stomach is still very sensitive and we have to be careful when changing his clothes and washing him. He is on minimal pain killers to avoid any interactions with his anticonvulsants. We are being very careful to keep the area clean to avoid any risk of infection and we have tinkered with his diet to limit his gassiness as much as possible. Just the last two nights we have noticed him sleeping through the night better and swallowing spit-up instead of choking on it. Overall, the g-button has quickly been a bit improvement in Landon's life and I think that as the surgery site heals, he will be happier each day.

Our next big appointment is on the 31st of July when Landon has his first appointment with his primary care physician. We had a very difficult time finding a doctor that would take him in Manhattan but after asking for help from Infant and Toddler Services of Kansas, they were able to convince a doctor in town to see him. He will see Dr. Knopp for his basic vaccinations and in case of a baby emergency, such as a fever, rash, etc, and we will keep our specialists in Lincoln and Topeka for more specific care. We are also scheduled for an appointment at the University of Chicago with the pediatric neurologist there who specializes in brain development. He has been wanting to see Landon for a couple months and it finally works with our schedule to drive up for a visit.

The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and acquaintances has been incredible. Karen and I each had dozens of texts on the day of Landon's operation and our family members had many more, checking in and following up. We are blessed daily and are thankful for the hard work and intelligence of the doctors and nurses that have kept Landon healthy. We are thankful to live in a time and place where we have access to the science and technology required to test Little Goat and improve his life with the operations and medications we need. We would like to encourage anyone who is having their own challenges to pray and to be open to accepting help. It is not in human nature to go it alone and having a hand to support you on the way is such a comfort and a real necessity.

"It is only in our minds that we are separate from the rest of the world." - Gay Luce. Take comfort in know that you're never alone, at the best of times and at the worst.


  1. So glad to hear that the surgery went so fantastically. I have been praying so much for this little guy. He is a blessing from God. I love seeing him smile in that picture. So wonderful to finally see.

  2. So very happy to hear that everything went well for Landon, and you & Karen as well. Enjoy all those wonderful smiles from your little goat!

  3. What a great looking little guy who has wonderful parents guiding him through this journey...

  4. The little guy has such a wonderful smile. I know that you don't know me (I know grandma Shrader) but would you give the little fella a hug from me?
    May God bless you and your family as only He can.

  5. Landon is the cutest little guy ever. I am so glad he has you and Karen to be his loving parents. Thank you for blessing him with your love and care. He is beautiful. Prayers for your family. <3

  6. I am so glad that the surgery went well. He is so adorable! Thanking for keeping us updated!