Anaesthetic for a 2 Year Old – The Surgery That Didn’t Happen

Anaesthetic for a 2 Year Old – The Surgery That Didn’t Happen

For any of you that read my blog or follow me on Instagram, you will know we had been waiting for a very long time for my little man to have surgery for a supposed umbilical granuloma. I’ve written about this on the blog before and how we were not getting anywhere with treatment during the pandemic. He has seen a consultant in February 2020 and there were some concerns about it leaking urine, which would have been a bigger operation and more to think about. However, this was ruled out with an ultrasound but sadly when surgery came this Monday, nothing could actually be done, as the ultrasound did not pick something else up. So one anaesthetic for a 2 year old and unfortunately no change to his belly button.

This was so disappointing for us both. So much waiting and waiting. He is 2 years and 7 months old now and this should have been sorted a long time ago.

waiting for surgery in covid times

Anaesthetic for a 2 Year Old

After two negative PCR tests and a weekend of isolation, the little man and I headed to our local hospital early one morning this week. He was fasted and could only have sips of water, if anything at all really. Luckily after arrival and settling, we realised he would be going first for his operation. There was a play therapist who was very helpful and brought toys and kept him busy too, whilst we were waiting.

He was very well-behaved initially. Having his blood pressure taken and heart rate measured were no problem for him and he took his medications via syringes without a fuss at all (pre-op painkillers). Getting him to change into a gown was a different story however and we did have a bit of a battle!

With excellent care from the surgeons and anaesthetists, I knew what was going to happen and could ask any questions. We were told they would either try a cannula to anaesthetise him or would be gas. I was keener for the first option, as was told they may need slightly to push on his face if he refused. However, we would see how he was at the time. They had put numbing cream on his hand to hopefully aid a smooth cannula insertion.

His turn came and I carried him down. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, as had been pretty calm so far. I’m either a panicker or pretty laid back and luckily I was the latter for this. Walking into theatre was pretty daunting though. So many machines and a few people. I guess when I had my knee op, I was knocked out before I saw where I was! They asked me to hold his arm under mine and he was distracted with a book. Amazingly they got the cannula in and after some anaesthetic and pain medication, he was asleep in 5 seconds.

Leaving him lying on the bed in his nappy was rough. You do feel helpless. That was the first time the tears came but I trusted the medical team, calmed down and went to sit outside with a cuppa and the very supportive people in my phone.

2 year old general anaesthetic

No Operation

After about 20 minutes or so the team came out to see me and I had a feeling it wasn’t the best news. They hadn’t been able to do anything. The surgeon was concerned there was a hole in his the granuloma and had put a little probe in to see what was happening. He felt it was going down to the bladder which could be something else completely – an umbilical urachnal sinus/cyst. You can read a little more here but we not entirely sure what is going on yet. Bottom line is appears the channel between the umbilicus and bladder has potentially not sealed up and should in the first trimester of pregnancy.

This was something that was considered initially but had been supposedly ruled out with ultrasound. The little man’s belly button does always leak however, so this wasn’t a huge surprise to me but also immensely frustrating.

The next steps involve referral to a paediatric urologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the operation will not be just a day case. More steps and more hoops for the little guy!

He was cool and I just explained the doctor couldn’t do anything that time and we needed to see another. His belly button was still the same and that was ok.

After the Anaesthetic

The little man was woken up and after a cuddle and bit of wriggling he went back to sleep for a while. There were no issues and he was wheeled back to the little ward.

He woke up very grumpy however and after staring to eat a bit, had a terrific tantrum which lasted a good 45 minutes over a banana. So bad, I needed to step off the ward and leave him with staff, as I was getting upset. However, they calmed him immediately and he ate toast, another banana and 3 biscuits. I think the anaesthetic and overwhelming hunger and thirst were just too much for him. Hard work but all was right with the world after he ate! We were allowed home around 11.45am, so were not in for long at all!

So here were are. I know there isn’t anything I can do and it is what it is but after such a long wait and putting my little man through a general anaesthetic, it was crushing at the time. I just had to think all would be ok eventually and something was happening. The letter was done and all we needed to do now was wait for a referral.

I’ll keep you posted!

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1 Comment

  1. October 9, 2021 / 8:11 am

    What a day to go through, I hope you get some answers very soon. X