Friday, June 17, 2011

Deb is out of surgery

Deb went into surgery first thing this morning, around 7:30, and was in the recovery room by noon. I haven't seen her yet, but I've been getting regular updates from the staff, who say everything went well.

I talked to Dr. Hanto, the surgeon, after the surgery. He said they took out the parts of the liver they had planned to take out, and that the tumor was completely removed.

And then he said something I found confusing, and I have had to remind myself that in both of Deb's previous surgeries (in 1996 and 2003), some impression I got from the surgeon turned out not to be right. (In 1996 the surgeon was too optimistic, in 2003 too pessimistic.) So here it is, for what it's worth: Before cutting into the liver, they did an ultrasound to locate the tumor more precisely. They saw it, but they also saw other small blips in both the part they were taking out and in the remainder of the liver. After removing the selected part of the liver, they sliced into it looking to identify what those other blips had been, and they couldn't find them. Dr. Hanto described this as "nothing to worry about."

I interpret this as: We thought we saw something, and then we looked closer and didn't see it. But the pathologist will look closer yet and will have the last word. I have no idea whether I should be worried or not.

As I write this I am very tired. I have a cold, and we had to get up at 4 to get to the hospital and jump through all the necessary hoops to have a 7:30 surgery. (Route 2 in Cambridge was spookily empty at 5. Sunrise streaming down the Charles is spectacular, though I hope not to see it again anytime soon.) I'll write more when I know more.

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