We've made a decision on Caleb's surgery. We will definitely be having surgery. It will be either Monday or Tuesday of next week.
We were presented with four surgery options. Two of the options address the problem with the cyst, while the other two only address the fluid build-up which is just a symptom of the problem. We believe that the best course of action is to address the actual problem and not just a symptom. Both of the options addressing the cyst involve going into the brain stem & into the tumor to get to the cyst, which is extremely risky. Of those two options, one stands a better chance of successfully draining the cyst than the other. This procedure is not a normal procedure, but is specific for Caleb's situation.
Because the operation is very delicate, we have to have another MRI done on Friday. This MRI will have very detailed mapping done to make sure they are accurate with incisions. Caleb will have several "spots" placed on shaved portions of his scalp to help guide the MRI mapping. Those will have to stay on all weekend. Because we didn't make the decision until we had a second discussion with the neurosurgeon (Dr. Swift) this morning, there were no MRI spots available for today.
After the MRI is completed, the neurosurgery team will review it and decide whether Monday or Tuesday is going to be best for surgery. They are also in contact with Caleb's cardiologist to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
We are expected to be released from the hospital Friday after the detailed MRI mapping is completed and readmitted the day of surgery. Our understanding at this time is that Caleb will go directly to ICU after surgery because he will be able to have one-on-one nursing care for the first 24 hours. If all goes well, he will be transferred to a regular room after that for a day or two. The surgery is pretty risky, but recovery time is fairly quick (2 - 3 days for best case scenario).
This was not an easy decision to make. We have prayed about it and are confident that we're making the right one. Please join us in prayer that all goes smoothly and no neurological issues arise as a result of going into the brainstem.