Thursday, April 30, 2009

Surgery Success!

A little bit of background on the surgery....the goals of the kyphoplasty surgery are to stop the pain caused by a spinal fracture, to stabilize the bone, and to restore some of the lost vertebral body height due to the compression fracture.

Here's how they do it:
1. During kyphoplasty surgery, a small incision is made in the back through which the doctor places a narrow tube. Using fluoroscopy to guide it to the correct position, the tube creates a path through the back into the fractured area through the pedicle of the involved vertebrae.

2. Using X-ray images, the doctor inserts a special balloon through the tube and into the vertebrae, then gently and carefully inflates it. As the balloon inflates, it elevates the fracture, returning the pieces to a more normal position. It also compacts the soft inner bone to create a cavity inside the vertebrae.

3. The balloon is removed and the doctor uses specially designed instruments under low pressure to fill the cavity with a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). After being injected, the pasty material hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.

So, they did one procedure last week that didn't seem to do much, and a second one was on Tuesday. The second placement of bone cement in Brandon's back seems to have gone well in that he was able to get up and walk the same day and has noticed a decrease in his pain. That is great news. Thanks for all the additional prayers said on and before Tuesday regarding his surgery. Down the road, they are hoping to be able to do 2 more vertebrae.

Another great piece of news is that the doctors have said that Doan's genetic make-up is such that he should be able to respond really well to the chemo therapy he has yet to undergo. Brandon's particular type of treatment plan is the result of a lot of modern research in cancer drugs, and his team of doctors are on the cutting edge with developing it. We're so blessed that we have such a wonderful facility with world class doctors on the case right here in Salt Lake City.

We are positive that all of the prayers from everyone have helped Brandon's and Katie's resolve to endure and press forward. We continue to be optimistic and appreciative of all the love and support we are receiving.


Jules said...

Hi Brandon and Katie,

Sending you our love and blessings from Seattle. I hope that with the back surgeries, you'll find some relief from your pain. Hang in there; continue to dig deep.

We love you, Aunt Julie and the gang!

Brian said...


Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. We are getting reports that your spirits are high and your strength of character is shining through. Thank you for your example.

Most sincerely,

Brian Wierman