Anthony's heart surgery update

As many of you know Anthony was born with a heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot. When he was 6 months old he under went open-heart surgery to repair the defects. All along he has known that he would eventually need to have his pulmonary valve replaced as it is part of the normal progression of the heart defect/surgery. He has been monitored over the past almost 30 years (yikes! We are getting old!!!!) and it was decided that this may be the best time to go ahead with the surgery. His cardiologist recently referred him to a pediatric cardio thoracic surgeon in Dallas named Dr. Joseph Forbess. We met with the surgeon last week and were very impressed. Like Anthony he is an avid cyclist and understands the amount of stress Anthony puts on his body with triathlons and all the other aerobic activities he does. The surgeon studied at Harvard and has had several documentaries done on him which can be found on you tube.

The surgery should last about 4 hours which includes 40 minutes on the heart/ lung bypass machine which will oxygenate his blood then pump it back to his body while the surgeon replaces the pulmonary valve. Dr. Forbess expects the surgery to be very routine for him and says the risk of something happening is less than 1%. The fact that he is in great physical shape and has no other medical issues helps decrease the risk. Anthony will have to stay in the hospital for about 4 days for monitoring and will be off work for about 2 weeks. We will plan on staying in Dallas at my parents house for a few days after being released from the hospital before returning to Houston to finish his recovery. Anthony will have sternal precautions for about 8 weeks which limit how much he can push, pull or lift to 5-10 pounds. Anyone want to come live with us to help me carry in groceries, carry the vacuum up the stairs or put stuff up on the top shelf since Anthony will be out of commission? They expect Anthony to be back 100% in 3-4 months which includes full out riding and hopefully training for a full iron man triathlon. The long recovery is not due to his heart recovering but rather from the orthopedic surgery of cracking his chest open and wiring it back together.

One question a lot of people have is why is he going to a pediatric surgeon vs. adult surgeon? The pediatric surgeon is an expert on these types of procedures because it all began with a congenital heart defect which he deals with daily. He and his team are much more comfortable performing these surgeries because they know exactly what to expect. The surgery is going to be performed at Childrens hospital in Dallas and Anthony will likely be one of the few adult patients on the floor.

We are hoping to schedule the surgery for the first week in March, but will keep everyone updated as we move on in the process. I am hoping that this blog will be a good way to keep everyone up to date with Anthony's progress. As always lots of prayers will be appreciated as Anthony goes through this major surgery!