Elaine just arrived home from her follow-up procedure. Dr Petersen, the gastroenterologist who implanted the trans-hepatic drain two weeks ago, removed it and successfully implanted a metal stent in the bile duct, propping it open so the bile can flow properly into the gut.
He said it was a very difficult procedure because the tissue of the duodenum and the top of the bile duct remains severely distorted, presumably from pressures exerted by external tissue. He scraped the inside of the duct to get cell “brushings” that were sent to the lab, but noted that they may not be “diagnostically productive.” In any case, we probably won’t get results until the middle of next week.
Today solved a very important problem by unblocking the bile duct. NowElaine’s team must decide how best to determine the nature of the tissue that is distorting the anatomy, and what to do about it. My understanding was that it could be metastases, but until that is nailed down that is only speculation.
Elaine is well but very groggy from the anesthesia, and she has pain in her right side and back from removing the drain. Our understanding (and hope) is she’ll be over the worst of it by the end of the weekend.
It’s clear, though, that there’s more to do in the near future.
We thank you for the overwhelming attention and warmth.