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Follow Aiden's Heart Surgery As It Happens

September 05, 2012

We followed 16-month-old Aiden through heart surgery to repair a heart defect called Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) that enables blood flow between the left and right Atria through an abnormal opening. We captured his surgery through Instagram as it happened, posting updates and pictures every few minutes so that his story could be followed in real time. Below are the photos and a timeline of events throughout the surgery. Aiden's surgery was successful and we wish him the best as he gets back to being a normal little boy again.

You can also see all of Aiden's surgery updates on Instagram, with username APHospital.

 Live Updates:

Sunday, September 9, 4:28 pm Aiden is headed home today! He recovered well over the last few days from heart surgery and doing great. Wish him and his family well as they head home!

2:56 pm Aiden is resting in the Cardiac ICU with his mom and dad and is doing well. Thanks for following along today! #aidensheart

11:38 am Aiden is now in the Cardiac ICU where he will spend the next few days recovering from surgery. #aidensheart

11:36 am Aiden is being transported to the Cardiac ICU now. #aidensheart

11:34 am Dr. Munro has extubated Aiden and is making sure he is breathing well. #aidensheart

11:16 am Dr. DeCampli is giving Aiden's parents the positive update they've been waiting for. Everything went very well. #aidensheart

11:06 am Dr. DeCampli is finished and the team is finishing up as they get ready to transport Aiden to the Cardiac ICU. #aidensheart

11:03 am A small catheter is being placed into Aiden's chest to deliver local anesthesia as he recovers. #aidensheart

11:01 am The team is now closing up the skin on Aiden's chest with stitches. #aidensheart

11:00 am This is the wire that will pull the sternum together to allow it to fuse back together. #aidensheart

10:51 am The clamps are removed from Aiden's chest and now they will begin to close everything up. #aidensheart

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10:48 am Dr. DeCampli is just about ready to begin closing Aiden's chest. #aidensheart

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10:44 am The cannulas are being removed from the chest now that Aiden is off of bypass. #aidensheart

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10:36 am Dr. Fleishman is visualizing the heart after surgery. He’s looking at blood flow through the heart. #aidensheart

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*Instagram is down temporarily, so we are using Twitter to post pictures for the time being.

10:33 am Aiden is coming off of bypass now. #aidensheart

10:19 am Dr. Munro is continuing to read the echocardiogram and ensure no air is left. #aidensheart

10:17 am The team is now using an echocardiogram to make sure no air is left in heart and the patch is stopping blood flow. #aidensheart

10:12 am The green line on this monitor shows the heart rhythm that is building back up in Aiden's heart. #aidensheart

10:09 am On the monitor you can see where the stitches closed the Atrium. #aidensheart

10:07 am Now that the heart is closed they will begin to remove the air and prepare the heart to begin beating again. #aidensheart

10:04 am Aiden's Atrium is being closed now that the patch is in place. #aidensheart

10:00 am Dr. DeCampli is using very small stitches to sew the patch into place. #aidensheart

9:56 am On the monitor you can see the patch being placed inside the heart. #aidensheart

9:53 am This is the size of Aiden's mitral ring #aidensheart

9:49 am Dr. DeCampli removed some excess tissue in the mitral ring

9:45 am Nurse Patty from the surgical team is giving Aiden's parents a quick update on the surgery. #aidensheart

9:31 am Dr. DeCampli is beginning to sew the patch into the hole between the 2 heart chambers. #aidensheart

9:26 am The surgical team is thoroughly visualizing the inside of Aiden's Heart. #aidensheart

9:20 am A tiny camera is used to visualize the inside of the heart chambers. This is an HD monitor above the operating table. #aidensheart

9:18 am Aiden's heart has just been cut open to begin repairing the hole inside. #aidensheart

9:14 am A clamp is placed on the Aorta and cold saline is placed around the heart. The heart must be still to operate. #aidensheart

9:12 am Aiden's body temp is being lowered several degrees as they prepare to stop his heart. #aidensheart

9:08 am This is the bypass machine that is pumping Aiden's blood. #aidensheart

9:04 am The bypass is now pumping Aiden's blood. #aidensheart

9:02 am The next 2 bypass tubes are in place. When Aiden is fully on bypass a machine will pump blood through his body as his heart is repaired. #aidensheart

9:00 am The first tube used for heart bypass is being placed now. #aidensheart

Question from Pete: After your amazing surgeons repair the defect in this little guy, what happens to the mend as he and his little heart grows ?

Answer: Pete, as long as the repair goes smoothly, the patch will stay the same size, but Aiden's own heart tissue will grow over the patch as Aiden's heart grows and he will be expected to live a normal, healthy life.

8:54 am Dr. DeCampli is now cutting a small piece of the pericardium out to be used as the patch in #aidensheart

8:52 am This is Aiden's tiny beating heart.

8:48 am To patch the hole in Aiden's heart a piece of the outer heart membrane (pericardium) is removed and sewn into the hole. #aidensheart

Question from Cindy: are these holes stitched shut or is a material used to cover the hole?

Answer: Cindy, Dr. DeCampli will take a piece of the outside layer of Aiden's heart to use to repair the hole.

8:44 am Dr. DeCampli has just opened Aiden's chest and is working to open the sternum. #aidensheart

8:39 am The surgical team is in place and about to begin the incision on Aiden's chest.#aidensheart

8:33 am The surgical team has everything ready to begin the surgery. #aidensheart

8:31 am Aiden's vital signs look good as Dr. DeCampli gets ready to begin. #aidensheart

8:27 am Dr. Fleishman and Dr. DeCampli discuss the blood flow they see in the echocardiogram. #aidensheart

8:25 am Dr. Craig Fleishman is doing a transesophageal echocardiogram to visualize the blood flow in #aidensheart

8:20 am This image shows where the hole in the heart is located with an Atrial Septal Defect. #aidensheart

8:16 am Aiden is about to have a line drawn on his chest to mark where the incision will be made. #aidensheart

8:11 am Aiden has all of his lines placed and is just about ready for surgery. #aidensheart

8:01 am Dr. Munro, pediatric anesthesiologist is inserting Aiden's central line. #aidensheart

7:56 am Aiden is asleep now as the team monitors his vital signs. #aidensheart

7:47 am Aiden is in the operating room and is being placed under anesthesia now as the team gets ready for surgery. #aidensheart

7:30 am Today is Aiden's surgery day! Follow along with us all day as we share his surgery through photos. He will be undergoing a procedure to repair an abnormal opening in his heart and restore proper blood flow. #aidensheart