Along with the big one year anniversary of Addison’s heart transplant comes a big one year medical checkup. So it was another early morning in the McYong household as we bundled the princess up for another trip to BC Children’s Hospital.
This is the first cardiac biopsy we have had since the heart transplant. It is the only accurate way to check for rejection, at least until current research on blood biomarkers goes into clinical practice. The biopsy is a surgical procedure involving a catheter that is inserted into a vein with microscopic tweezers. The tweezers grab little samples of heart tissue which are then examined for signs of rejection.
Addison is now old enough to know something is not quite right. It took lots of bubble blowing to calm her down but once the anesthetic was on board, she conked right out.
Just got an upate from our cardiologist…as per her usual method, Addison likes to be special. They couldn’t get access. Her neck veins are blown from ECMO while in the ICU, her veins on one side of her groin are blown too, and the veins on the other side are too small to get very far. The doctors didn’t want to try anything else because she had been sedated for almost 3 hours already. There are other ways of getting to the heart and we will try again later.
The good thing is rejection is very rare in heart transplant babies because their immune systems are so immature. Adults who have heart transplants would probably have a dozen biopsies in the first year, and they only get local anesthesia!
When the princess wakes up, we are supposed to keep her still for 4 hours so the access points can seal up. Wish us luck!
Elaine, Aaron and Addison