Well, December 14 is the day! We will go in for surgery to repair the colostomy on Bub. The surgery will be at St. John's in Tulsa.

Here are the details: Because of the risks involved, this will be a 2 surgery process. Surgery 1 will be quite involved and could take up to 6 hours to complete. In order to complete this safely, a Urologist Surgeon will also attend the operation and place stints in the Kidneys. This will help our surgeon feel them during surgery and hopefully help avoid any damage to them. That is one of the big risks here. He will also be available "just in case" :)

Next, Dr. Clingan will have to prepare the rectum for a resection to even be possible. Due to all the trauma of the 1st surgery complications, infection, and radiation to this area, there is a lot of fibrous scar tissue to address. He will have to remove all scar tissue and try to find good, healthy muscle with good blood supply first. Once he's done that, he will take down the Colostomy (removes the lg. intestine from where it is attached to Bub's stomach) and reconnect it to the rectum.

In order for this all to be successful we need the Lord to continue to heal and strengthen the rectal tissue so that it is healthy, viable and strong enough to hold, and for there to be enough messentary (the tissue that holds the lg intestine in it's place in the abdomen) to reach far enough to allow the lg intestine to make it the rectum! Also, there has to be a healthy blood supply to reach the newly reconnected site.

Next, the surgeon will create a "Diverting Ileostomy". This is when the small intestine is actually disconnected from the Large intestine, allowing it to heal properly. The end of the intestine will then be placed with an opening on Bub's stomach. He will still have to wear a bag to collect waste,  but it will be a bit different than the one he uses now. All waste will leave the body as it exits the small intestine allowing no pressure or stress to interfere with the healing process of the more delicate lg intestine.

That will be all that can be done the first surgery. Our surgeon feels Bub should be able to leave the hospital in 5-7 days if everything goes well. The longer the surgery takes, and the more "work" they have to do on the intestines, the harder it is for them to recover, so it could take a bit longer. It will all depend on how the surgery goes. The recovery time will be like his last 2 operations - 6-8 wks at least.

Surgery 2 will take place a minimum of 8 wks later, and maybe as long as 6 months later. Basically, as soon as that lg intestine/rectal anastamosis is completely healed. They will do Barium enema tests to determine when that has occurred.

As long as that heals properly, the 2nd surgery will be much shorter - 45min or so. It will reconnect the small intestine to the large again, allowing the "circuit" to be completed!

A 3rd surgery will be required at some point after that to repair the large hernia Bub has. This can not be done during the other 2 surgeries because fiber mesh will actually have to be used to hold those muscles together and the infection risk is to great to place that while also working with bowel tissue. There's just too much rick of fecal contamination of the mesh.

I hope I explained the process understandably - There is just so much to explain! But, we are optimistic about the success of this procedure. I know you all have been praying for us for over a year now, but we wouldn't be doing so well if it weren't for the Lord's faithfulness! He indeed hears our prayers and it is His good pleasure to help his children!

Thanks again and we'll keep posting updates!