A first of its kind surgery was performed on a child -- and a Connecticut company recorded the entire 23-hour procedure.
Heather McNamara, 7, of Long Island had a cancerous, tennis ball-sized tumor in her abdomen tangled around her vital organs and blood vessels.
So, last month she underwent a high-risk operation. West Hartford-based OR-Live was in the operating room, recording the doctors as they described the preparation, surgery and recovery. (Visit their site to see a preview.)
She had six vital organs (her stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver and small and large intestines) extracted by doctors so they could remove the cancer. “The most trickiest, difficult part of the operation is once the organs come out of the body we really need to be able to put the organs back in,” said Dr. Tomoaki Kato, lead surgeon.
Heather’s cancer had spread so widely that her stomach, pancreas and spleen could not be saved. In place of her stomach, doctors created a pouch from intestinal tissue to hold food. The loss of her pancreas has turned her into a diabetic, meaning she’ll need insulin injections and digestive enzymes. Doctors are optimistic about her ability to overcome those problems.
The little girl and her family were optimist as they left the hospital on Tuesday.
“We came here with no hope and they gave us hope. Not only did they give us hope, I mean it was the whole team, it wasn’t just, it was everybody we met.” Said Tina McNamara.
The surgery was performed at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. This is only the second time in the world its been performed.