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Yesterday Mark had his contrast study done. While swallowing contrast dye a radiologic video is recorded. I was able to watch the computer screen while he was taking the test. Looking at where the contrast went was interesting. Something looked weird to me – I could see the contrast in two places – but what do I know. When I asked the radiologist “all good?”, she said, “he has a leak.” Since he has sprung a leak here’s where Mark is in his healing….

Dr. Varghese came to the room after seeing the results of the test. He said this happens in about 4% of these surgeries. (Lucky Mark!) He explained that it is a wait and monitor the leak situation. I asked if it was similar to a small plumbing leak that would sometimes self-seal. He laughed and said great analogy….yes. 

Dr. Varghese said he wanted Mark to have a CT scan to determine whether the 2 current chest tubes that are draining the serous fluid from the surgery wounds are also draining the pocket of fluid the leak has caused. The CT scan showed that the 2 current tubes don’t cover the area of leakage. Dr. Glasgow and Dr. Varghese are discussing with the radiology team when or if an additional drain needs to be put in. We should know that later today.

Additionally, Mark’s epidural and self-push pain button have been removed. They’ve replaced those pain meds with something else, so he’s comfortable. He’s still on heart meds due to the A-fib as a result of the surgery – the heart gets pissed when jostled – and they’ve added antibiotics to help avoid any issues caused by the leak.

We should know later today what the decision is on the drain. Best case scenerio he may go home Friday or Saturday. Otherwise he’ll go home sometime next week. Mark’s taken two steps up and one small step back, but he’s progressing well.

Thank you all so much for the love and support. 


Mark & Lee