Thursday, December 14, 2006

Aerteriovenous Malfromation and Senator Johnson Update

The Senator was in surgery for 5 hours.  That is a long time.  It must have been either a tangled mess or in a hard to reach area of the Brain.  Some times the Neurosurgeons keep the post craniotomy (brain surgery) sedated to keep the brain from swelling which cause brain cells to die.  Here is the info I found which was the most telling.  Hugh Hewitt's comment to me about the MD's not talking and what I've gleaned from doing an internet search leads me to speculate that this may be worse than Harry Reid thinks. 
I also read that our pal Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr was away for seven months in 1988 after undergoing surgery for brain aneurysms.  Could this be the explanation for his Slowness?....
I pray for Senator Johnson and his family as even if he survives this serious condition the road to recovery will more likely than not be long, hard and there is no guarentee that he will have a return to his Neurologic baseline.
Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for letting me on the Program today to talk about this serious Problem.  Francis
  • Arteriovenous malformation is believed to affect about 300,000 Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The institute's Web site said only about 12 percent of those have any symptoms. The symptoms, which range in severity, can include severe headaches, memory loss and dizziness.
  • It's common to take several days for someone to wake up after AVM surgery, said Dr. Sean Grady, neurosurgery chairman at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Someone who is awake and alert and talking in the first day or two typically has a shorter recovery - in the range of four to eight weeks, he said. If it takes longer to wake up, it in turn takes more months to recover.
  • "We wouldn't make any immediate long-term prognoses for at least one to two days," he cautioned. "There can be a period of time where the brain is still swollen and the patient may have trouble responding."
  • Johnson went into brain surgery at approximately 7 p.m. Washington time last night and emerged at 12:30 a.m. today, according to Julianne Fisher, Johnson's spokeswoman.
  • The senator's attending physician says it's premature to assess any long term prognosis. The Attending Physician says Senator Johnson has been responsive to both words and touch. The doctor says no further surgery has been required.

  • Eisold, the Capitol physician, said doctors stopped bleeding in Johnson's brain and drained the blood that had accumulated there. ``It is premature to determine whether further surgery will be required or to assess any long-term prognosis,'' Eisold said.
    On Thursday afternoon, Johnson underwent an additional procedure to prevent blood clots. The procedure is standard after surgery, said Julianne Fisher, Johnson's spokeswoman. Otherwise, she said, there were no new developments. ``No news is good news,'' she said.
    Johnson's condition, also known as AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large, become tangled and sometimes burst. The condition is often present from birth.
  • "an uncomplicated postoperative course," the U.S. Capitol physician said after visiting him Thursday afternoon. Johnson suffered a hemorrhage in his brain caused by a rare and sometimes fatal condition.
  • "He has been appropriately responsive to both word and touch. No further surgical intervention has been required," said the physician, Adm. John Eisold. He had said earlier, "The senator is recovering without complication."
  • Johnson was responding to the voice of his wife, Barbara, and following directions after the surgery, the senator's office said in a statement. "He was reaching for and holding her hand."

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