What really happened

Back in August I blogged about faxing a HIPPA compliance form to Johns Hopkins Hospital to get some medical records from my 1967 heart surgery. I already had the records, actually, but I had managed to misplace several of them. So I filled out another compliance form and faxed it to the Medical Records office.

Hopkins responded by sending all of my medical records from that first surgery, not just the 12 sheets I already had. I returned to Hopkins several times for check ups until I was about five years old, but none of those records are included. So now instead of 12 sheets, my stack is about an inch thick. This was a lot more information than I expected, and every bit of it is interesting.

I have Catherization reports, – one of which destroys a family legend; I always thought that we arrived at Hopkins at roughly 10:30 PM, but the Cath report says that I was brought into the Cath Lab at 6:16 PM. Daddy says we arrived at Hopkins about 3:30 pm, and the surgery itself began at 10:30 PM.

There are Radiological reports but no X-rays. I wonder if they deteriorate over the years. Possibly they are filed away in a different place, since all my records are copies, most likely made from microfilm.

Quite a few pages of Nurse’s reports (I can – and probably will – make an entire post about those!) and –

Oh my goodness…

The title of the sheet is OPERATING ROOM REPORT. And this is the entire report, not just the summary and the little bits and pieces of my operation that I assume from what I already know.

After the temperature was down to 32 degrees we used inflow stasis and during a three-minute period of inflow stasis dissected a sizable portion of the Atrial Septum.

I was too small for the heart/lung machine, so the surgical team stopped my heart temporarily by hypothermia – They literally put me in ice and cooled me until my heart stopped. During a three minute period of no blood flow doctors cut into my heart and enlarge an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). For the heart to work (and its owner to survive) blood has to be able to complete the Cardiopulmonary circuit: flow from the body into the heart, move from the heart to the lungs, then back to the heart, and once again out to the body.  Because my normal pathway is blocked my blood “escapes” through an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), and that earlier Catherization had revealed that my ASD wasn’t quite big enough.

…at the end of this part of the operation we proceeded to prepare the vessels for a right Pulmonary Artery anastomosis after the technique of Glenn.

This is a phrase that I type often and Funky Heart readers are probably tired of seeing: I don’t have the Glenn Procedure that is currently in use. That’s known as the Bi-Directional Glenn, because blood is rerouted to both lungs. I have the original version of the operation, the “Classic Glenn” or sometimes called the Unidirectional Glenn. In my version, the right branch of the Pulmonary Artery is cut and sewn into the Superior Vena Cava, so the majority of my blood flows into my right lung. CLICK HERE to see the best drawing I have ever seen of the Classic Glenn Procedure.

Chest was closed in layers with #00 catgut and skin with Dermalon. The patient tolerated the procedure well.


Vincent Gott, M.D.

Wow. Just…wow.

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4 Responses to “What really happened”

  1. Cindy Says:

    WOW!! That must have been so emotional going through all of that! I would love to hear more!

  2. Tina Says:

    I agree that is quite interesting. I remember reading my sons operating room reports and becoming very emotional. I can’t imagine how it mist feel to read about yourself. I look forward to reading more about what you have learned.

  3. Sabrina Says:

    Steve, you are amazing and an inspiration to all of us who…in my case anyway, are watching our kids go through this now. I always feel grateful for you ‘first generation’ of heart babies…you paved the way for the current generation…and through your perseverance our kids live better lives and have fewer surgeries than you all had to endure. How can we ever thank you?

  4. Lisa Says:

    Wow, that is really cool.

    I have a few records from my son’s procedures, not nearly as detailed as what you have. I didn’t know you could request all of those records. I can’t wait to request my son’s!

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