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3:00 Cali time - out of surgery, Platinum dude, Waiting Room

posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:39 PM by Manny Wilke   [ updated Apr 3, 2012, 3:45 PM ]
Manny is out of surgery and resting very peacefully. Then again, if I had a little dose of morphine too, I would be sleeping peacefully too.
Manny is doing very well. After talking with Dr Roberson, it sounds like it was a very, very complicated situation. Shocking I know. Originally, Dr Roberson removed 1 of his 3 stapes (you should only have 1) with a laser back in August. Something with the ligament around the stapes making a trampoline effect was connected to a bone...which was removed....but then a small bone fracture grew back over the trampoline making it not move again. This explains his great hearing results initially slowly followed by poorer and poorer results. (I have a handout to read to understand it all more clearly.) Anyways, Dr Roberson put in a prosthetic stapes today in his Left Ear. Dr Roberson has done over 1000 of these (and in fact, he invented the surgery and invented the prosthetic!!!) and this was his #1 or #2 most challenging case EVER. This prosthetic stapes is made out of platinum and teflon - lucky Manny! I could tell Dr R worked hard! In fact, he had to shave down part of an opening for the prosthesis from 0.6mm to 0.4mm to make it all work, which is like the tip of a pen. He also had to bend/hammer down one of his tools to make it work because the opening was too tight (a problem with how Manny was born). He said that it was all very, very close to his facial nerve so that he was very glad "he didn't have an coffee today"! Anyhoo, at the end of the day, he feels that he did the best thing for optimal hearing and I think he really earned his $ today!
Dr Roberson is shipping us some earplugs to put in Manny's Right Ear for when we get home to reopen up the closing canal. Manny will have to wear it every night until surgery with Dr Lewin 8/8. He does not want us to put it in now as the other ear is healing. As for the future, he wants us to sit tight for about 1.5 years (or 1 year after the last infection) and see how the prosthetic stapes works, finish up with Dr Lewin and look at hearing tests etc. There is a chance that the same thing happened with the Right Ear (since there was hearing and it is declining), but both Dr Roberson and I want to take a break to let things heal, really get a good idea on the results, to see if his body likes the prosthesis, and to just...take a break! We will have to be very careful for the next 3 weeks since the prosthesis is connected to the middle ear, connected to the ear drum. So, he bounces around - it could affect the positioning of the prosthesis. We just have to pray that this works really, really well!
On a side note - while in the waiting room today I overhead a gentleman talking about his 19 year old son, Manny, and met a nice woman who was getting atresia repair revisions and prosthetic implants today. She told me about all of the surgeries she had growing up (starting at age 9) and how archaeic they were - painful, donor bones, etc - so I should be glad to be having my son in this "era" with the newer technology. And, she was 50 and had excellent speech :)
So, yeah, we survived it again. And, for all of the reasons above, I am so glad we are out here, with the top specialists. I will always know that at the end of the day I did everything I could for him and that he was in the best hands, and that they did everything they could for him. I guess now it's finally in God's hands and he will determine the outcome and future.
God bless my elderly next door neighbor, Bill Fletcher, who passed away this morning and my other next door neighbor, Roger Van Haren, who took such great care of him over the years. Perhaps Bill gave Manny an extra boost today.