Thursday, May 13, 2010

Allyn's Heart Procedure (Catheter Ablation)

Allyn has (had) WPW (Wolff Pakinson White Syndrome-- a syndrome of pre-excitation of the ventricles of the heart due to an accessory pathway. This accessory pathway is an abnormal electrical communication from the atria to the ventricles). We found out she had it right after she was born. They gave her a medication that trigger tachycardia. She has never had a problem with it, but we would have yearly check up with the cardiologist. For years we have known that someday when she was old enough she may have to have this procedure. A couple weeks ago we went her yearly visit and they did a stress test on her. That is where they hooked her up and put her on a treadmil. They could increase the speed and the incline on the treadmill to see how her heart would react once her heart rate when up. What they wanted was for her "extra pathway" to stop working once her heart rate got so high. It did get up to 180 and it was still using the extra pathway so that is why they decided to do this procedure. It was not an emergency, but it did need to be done sooner or later. We decided we would rather get it done before we moved. I am sooo glad that it is over.
The procedure is called Catheter Ablation
Here is some info from a booklet the Dr gave us.
How the heart works:
The heart is a hollow, muscular organ that pumps blood throughout the body. The heart has 4 chambers, 2 upper (atria) and 2 lover (ventricles). The heart depends on its electricals system to deliver signals and make the heart beat normally.
For a normal heartbeat, and electrical signal starts in the sinus node, travels though the right and left atria, then through the AV node to the right and left ventricles. If a signal starts in a different location, it travels and abnormal pathway.
What is Catheter Ablation?
Electrical impulses travel though the heart to make it pump. If impulses travel abnormal pathways or circuits, the heart ma beat too fast. This rapid rhythm is called "tachycardia".
Catheter ablation destroys (ablates) abnormal electrical pathways that may be causing an abnormal rhythm.
During the procedure catheters (long, flexible wires) are inserted into the veins of leg, neck and arteries in the leg. These wires are threaded though the veins into the heart under x-ray guidance. They will sense electrical signals from different parts of the heart.
The doctor will try to start your abnormal heart rhythm to find exactly where it comes from. Once this is done, a catheter tip generated radio frequency waves, destroying defective tissue and the abnormal pathway and eliminating the cause of the abnormal heart rhythm.


Ms Tammara got Allyn this outfit for her procedure. She looks so cute in it!

Allyn texting Ms Tammara as we wait to get things started.


As soon as Allyn got her gown on and jumped in bed she really started to show how scared she was. She did tell me the night before that she was "kinda scare", but she didn't seem scared until this point.
I am normally a big cry baby!! I did cry a little when Allyn started crying, but I did hold it together very well. I think it was all the prayers we had. We did get to go with her into the "Cath Lab". We stood outside the door watching until she was under. They had her breath in a mask to make her fall asleep and then they put the IV in her arm.
The waiting room!! I could not believe how full it was. When Allyn was in recovery I got to go sit with her. The nurse there told me that they average 60 surgeries a day there and sometimes add up to 35 more depending on emergencies.
Allyn had to stay laying on her back for 4 hours. She slept most of the time. They told us after the 4 hours she would be able to go home. Right before it was time to go they gave her some juice to see if she could hold it down. She did end up throwing it up so they gave her some medicine for nausea.

Allyn getting her IV out.


Finally it was time to go home. We left about 7:00.
Today two of Allyn's friends from school stopped by for a visit. They had a card signed by the class, a balloon and a cute little dog for her. She loved their visit!!! It made her day!
We are not sure if she will go back to school tomorrow or Monday. She is not allowed to do any physical activity for about a week. That will be hard for her to be in school and not jump rope :)

1 comment:

Tammara, Jess and Cory said...

MS Allyn you were a very brave girl. I am so proud of you. Rest and remember no JUMP ROPING till mom and dad say you can. Love you MS Tma