Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction.

In human terms, a clogged tear duct.

Yesterday I mentioned we were taking Emma to the eye doctor.

She has always had eye issues. They have never been severe {thank goodness}.

When in the NICU at 32 weeks, she tested positive for bacteria in the eye. They would put all kinds of goop on/in/around her eye. "Do big deal" the doctors said.

At about 4 months, she had green goop in her eye all of the time. It drove us crazy. Green is never a color you want to see so we went to see Dr. H. "Just a clogged tear duct. No big deal. Most babies outgrow it by a year." I was sent home with special instructions to massage the duct with a warm wash cloth. It cleared up the green but her eye kept watering.

"Awww! Have you been crying?" people always ask Bug. "No." I answer. "She just has a clogged tear duct."

So, a year has come and gone. We are on month 14. Bug's left eye still waters excessively. She has clear/white goop all of the time. Dr. P referred us back to Dr. F, the opthamologist.

You may remember my last visit to Dr. F. I can't find the link right now. It involved crazy looking paperclip type things that held Emma's eyes open. Dr. F poked and prodded to the point Emma's eyeball looked like it was going to pop out. SCARY! This was how they tested to make sure Bug didn't have retinopathy of prematurity.

Anyway, this appointment wasn't bad at all. Emma freaked out a little. There were no paperclip things. Dr. F didn't even touch her eyes. He did tell us some not so great news.

Emma's tear duct and passageways never opened. Being that this didn't fix itself, Dr. F is going to have to surgically fix it. We will go to the hospital early one morning. He will use a gas mask to put her to sleep. He will insert a balloon catheter into the passageway. He will pop the tear duct. Dr. F told us it would take about 4 minutes for him to finish. Of course, the paperwork, anesthesia, etc. will take the longest of all. He will finish the "surgery" and we can go home that day.

Dr. F says this is super common. He has at least 3 patients a week with a clogged tear duct. He does about 15 surgeries of his surgery days. Emma will be one of his first surgeries... if not his first surgery.

Dr. F says that this surgery is no big deal. Of course to Ryan and I, it is a great big deal. It is scary to know that your baby will be put to sleep and she is only 14 months old. I am 24 and I have never been put to sleep.

We have a few weeks until the surgery. We are waiting until after Christmas to have it done. Nothing like having surgery to put a damper on the holidays so we feel like it is better to wait. I will keep you posted.

9 comments:

Krystyn said...

Isabelle had it done at about 9 months. It was very scary for us, and she screamed, but the worst was coming out of the anesthesia. Seriously, they told me to go back to the room and wait, and I went to the bathroom and came back and they were wheeling her into recovery.

I'm sure it will be a quick and easy procedure.

PS By the afternoon, she was totally herself. No swollen or bloodshot eyes or anything!

Lindsey said...

I can see how this can be a scary thing. Sorry she has to have it done. But she will do great and she wont have that goopy eye any longer!
Have a wonderful thanksgiving :)

Jamie said...

I thought we were going to have that done with Hayden but I guess it worked itself out. I know it must be really scary, but I know she will do great and be very thankful to you in the future! Keep us posted!

Dana said...

Emma Bug will do great! Just think no more gunk, we are right behind you because it's looking like Anna Kate's blocked duct isn't going anywhere anytime soon....I am so tired of all the gunk I wish she could get hers done tomorrow!

The Nicholsons said...

Stokes' just cleared up. I thought we would have to go through this too. The doctors make it out to be a minor surgery, but I know you guys are scared. She will do great and I know you're looking forward to no more green gunk!

Diana said...

She will do great! I can't believe it will only take 4 minutes! That is a good thing! I will be praying for Emma, and you and your family!

Kari said...

Surgery of ANY kind is scary! You are justified in feeling the way you do. I would be too! Just put your trust in the Lord! She will be fine!! Please do keep us posted!

Meredith said...

This is so scary! My mom said that when I was a baby I had to go to Chapel Hill to fix my blocked tear duct with a tube because mine was so bad. Hope Emma gets better soon!

Jess said...

Oh goodness! I hope it goes quickly and smoothly. Will be looking for updates!