View Full Version : Post Surgery-SMA Syndrome

07-21-2005, 05:46 PM
I'm new to this but want to see if anyone out there has gone through this. My son had congenital scoliosis that we have been following since birth (Vater Syndrome). True to the Doctors word when he went through puberty the curves got very large very quickly. He had to have 12 vertebrae fused with 15 inch rods. He had this surgery on June 27th and did incredibly well. We were home from the hospital in five days.
However after the surgery he had very little appetite-we thought from the pain meds. Then on his fourth day home he began vomiting profusely. They ran a bunch of tests-upper GI, CatScans, etc-and they think due to the surgery and his weight loss he has Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome (where the artery creates a blockage at the doudenum).
We have been hospitalized twice in the past 3 weeks since the surgery, his weight at 5'7' has gone from 105 ot 88 pounds and now he is home with an NJ tube and we are feeding him via pump at night to get a weight gain. He still can handle very little by mouth (popsicles, gatorade).
Kevin has been a healthy kid other than his scoliosis since he was four (prior to that he had a tracheostomy).
School starts in two weeks and I was wondering if anyone else has been through this. The Doctors say they "think" if he gains weight it will resolve the problem. He's depressed he's not going to be able to start school with his friends and we are frantic as we can find no one else who has gone through this. PS His back surgery looks great and has caused him very little discomfort after the first five days.

07-22-2005, 05:33 PM

Glad to hear your son's surgery went well - sorry to hear he's having complications. Do the doctors know how or why the artery would create a blockage? Will the problem take care of itself or will he need additional treatment for that? I am sorry I can't be of any help to you, we are on the pre-surgery side still (son's surgery in Dec.) I sympathize with your son on not being able to start school at beginning of the new year. Just hang in there and I'm sure he will be able to get back into the swing of things quickly. Best wishes to you both.


08-14-2005, 03:12 PM
We are going through a very similiar experience. Our son had surgery for scoliosis on July 20th and has been having trouble eating along with weight loss. He has been diagnosed after an upper GI with Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. He has also been in and out of the hospital for the last 3 weeks. He is currently at the hospital with a feeding tupe and receiving 140 calories for 16 hours a day. They do not want to let him go home until the syndrome is resolved much to our dismay. He has to sit up during the 16 hours of feeding or they say he will not get adequate nutrition unless he sits up due to SMA syndrome. This is extremely difficult for him as sitting up creates a great deal of discomfort and he is very weak. Has your son had headaches along with the weight loss? Our son Zac has had a lot of headaches and we don't know if it has to do with the weight loss.

08-14-2005, 03:44 PM
Kevin's Mom & Corinnek...

I'm really sorry to hear about your children's problems. It must be incredibly difficult to deal with all of it. In case you haven't done a search of the literature, here are some published papers on the topic:

http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00007632-200212150-00023.htm;jsessionid=C1rrZtsmoGucBwTopYSFNIApta42Z X96bGMpO2WwpNhwRpshhCLW!250931426!-949856145!9001!-1
http://www.jspinaldisorders.com/pt/re/jsdt/abstract.00024720-200412000-00016.htm;jsessionid=C1s1fnt8KvlXYtC2UWHPwZ9JISIBK x45xQ550trkoXhNIxkwFql1!250931426!-949856145!9001!-1

I hope that your children recover fully and quickly.


08-15-2005, 12:02 AM
Thank you for your response. I'd love to read the articles which you noted. But after many futile attempts I have been unable to access the entire articles. I have only been able to look at a brief summary of them. I'm hoping you can offer some suggestions to help.
Thank you,

08-15-2005, 12:08 AM
Hi Corrine...

With a few exceptions, you can only get abstracts online. If you have a medical library close to you, you might be able to read the entire articles. The longer URLs actually have full text articles, but it's probably difficult for you to get the URL correctly copied into a browser. You can find the same articles by going to Google and typing in:

Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome Scoliosis


08-15-2005, 04:35 AM
Corinne, when I was at Shriners, I visited the medical library and the medical librarian told me that I can call her from home and she will send articles to me if I want any. Apparently that is a service that is available to everyone. I sure could have used that service when I was researching scoliosis surgery, before my daughter had the surgery! I have the number for my contact at Shriners if you want it, or you may be able to call them from the number on the Shriners Children's Hospital internet site. Let me know if you need more information. God bless your situation and good luck! Kris