Prayers For Babies In Surgery
Baby surgery prayer
by Adelfo (Paranaque)
We thank you for giving us our dearest grandchild Baby Yana Staijsea “Noey”, for the joys and laughter, inspiration, strength and hope that she has given us, especially her dearest mother Pamela.
Please hear our prayers as offer her to you Father, the Giver of Life, Our Protector, the Divine Healer. We trust in your Goodness, in Your Mercy and Love. Please grant our prayers for safe and successful heart surgery for her and please give her strength.
Please bless and guide and give us strength in our preparations especially on our search for blood donors, and guide and bless and grant her doctors/surgeons/anesthesiologists/nurses/technicians and all who shall perform and assist on the procedures, with steady hands, composed minds, clear eyesight and sound faculties and grant her speedy and complete recovery.
We pray all these in the Mighty Name of Your Son Jesus. Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints. Amen
Return to Prayers for Children
“God will take care of everything you need.” (Philippians 4:19 The Message)
How do we trust that God will take care of us as He does the birds and the trees? Believing God’s Word will fan the flame of our faith as we live it out in hard circumstances.When the ache of the unknown looms in front us as we place our lives in the hands of surgeons, prayer gives peace to our hearts and physically tired bodies.
Use this prayer for yourself, or with friends and family before heading into surgery.
A Prayer for Surgery
Father, praise You for this life. As we prepare for surgery to the body You have given us, many things flow into our minds and our hearts as we lie in wait. Yet, You reassure us in Exodus 15:26: “I am the Lord who heals you.”
We have an end picture in our minds as to what “healed” looks for us, and desperately look to You for assurance that our lives and our pain will be healed. You are above all, see all, know all, and are capable of healing all.
When Jesus walked the earth, He healed by the touch of His hand and the sound of His voice.
We pray to feel Your healing hand upon us, Lord, and hear Your voice of peace and tranquility boom over the loud pain that throbs through our minds and bodies.
Thank You for a life that is valuable to us and to those around us. We are worth enough to worry about, and thankful enough for the life we’ve been blessed with on this earth to covet our return to it and full restoration of it. With grateful hearts we come to You in praise for the gift of being able to trod this earth and experience Your love.
SEE ALSO: A Prayer for Healing Sick Family and Friends
Forgive us, Father, for doubting our purpose on earth. We confess just how often we run from what You are calling us to do because we feel it is too hard.
And now, as we await the outcome of surgery, we feel compelled to reach back and grab every opportunity that has ever passed us by to walk behind Your Son in pursuit of Your will for our lives. Please forgive our disobedience, and lack of respect for Your timing and Your plans.Help us to place our current and future ambitions on bringing You glory, and the love of Your Son to all who know us.
Father, we trust You with our lives. For You promise us: “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)
Bless the surgeons and medical staff that will operate on us. Be with them and equip them to be extensions of Your healing hand. Remain present with me, Lord, even when I fall asleep from the pain medication. Help me to feel Your presence, and remember that You are always with me. Never leaving. Always faithful. Loving me more than I’m capable of understanding.
And now for the hardest part: Truly trusting the outcome of my life in Your hands. For it’s when our plans for healing don’t look the same as Yours that we become frustrated, and faith threatens to pull our hearts. Doubt can seep in through the cracks in unexpected circumstances.
In those moments, Lord Jesus, strengthen us to remember You. Your ways are not our ways, because only You can claim true love for us. Only You know what is perfect and just in the daily happenings of our lives. Our time here is so fleeting, but our belief in You, Jesus, sets us apart and ensures us life everlasting.
Pain free and full of peace.
SEE ALSO: A Prayer for Healing
Help us to hold on to that belief. To hold onto You. As we travel this road of uncertainty, send Your Holy Spirit to inspire our heart’s memory of Your sweet words of promise.
Help us to recall and repeat the promises You have given us through Your Word. Be with our families and friends as they worry and wonder what the outcome will be.
Inspire Your love in their hearts and assure them that my life is in Your hands.
Father, let all who know me witness my peace in this process, and know that it is from You. Thank You for life, God. Bless and heal me today through this surgery. Whether You bring me through these ailments to restore me upright on this earth, or take me through to You, I trust You… today, and always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What are you facing today that we can join in praying for healing and peace over? Join our large praying community in the comments below.
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/AtnoYdur
SEE ALSO: A Prayer for Those Waiting on Healing
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Prayer for HealingPrayer for the SickMiracle PrayerPrayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersShort PrayersThe Lord’s PrayerSerenity PrayerA Birthday PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessPrayer for GuidancePrayers for My HusbandPrayers for My SonPrayers for My Daughter
One of our very best friends is at the hospital this morning to prepare for surgery to remove a brain tumor. He is a huge part of our lives, has been a faithful friend to Andrew and I for 11 years, and is an adopted uncle to our girls.
He flew to another city for this surgery, and we have been feeling so far away and wishing we could be with him and his family to offer tangible support.
As we fight the restlessness that comes with waiting for a major event surgery, we are holding onto the promises of God.
Before the surgery, God has already showed up. We create our editorial calendar over a month in advance, and we scheduled our Resources topic for this week to be a prayer guide for what to pray while your child is in surgery—three weeks before we knew about our friend’s surgery.
I am reminded of Proverbs 16:9, which says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” God knew that we would need these verses to claim for our friend today even before we did.
Knowing that these verses come right from the heart of God, we offer these to you to meditate on or pray as your child or loved one is back in surgery.
Download a PDF of this guide here
Prayers for God’s Presence
I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and save you.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the child in her womb? Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you.
Now this is what the Lord says–the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel–”Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.
I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you…Because you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you.”
He watches over his nest an eagle and hovers over his young; he spreads his wings, catches him, and lifts him up on his pinions. The Lord alone led him, with no help from a foreign god.
The Lord your God who goes before you will fight for you, just as you saw him do for you in Egypt. And you saw in the wilderness how the Lord your God carried you as a man carries his son all along the way you traveled until you reached this place.
He lifted them up and carried them all the days of the past.
The Lord holds his hand.
Lord, you are a God who heals. You are a God who loves. You are a God who holds and carries your children through the hardest moments. I can’t hold right now, but you can. Your heart of love is tender towards those who are yours. Carry today.Let him/her feel your presence with them. I ask that you would calm his/her heart and mind and allow to rest in your faithful love. You promise that whatever comes our way, you are there guiding us and will never let us go. Never once have we walked alone, and is not alone now.
Please watch over through this surgery.
Prayers for God’s Healing
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump calves from the stall.
For I am the Lord who heals you.
Praise the Lord, oh my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed the eagle’s.
Heal me, oh Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are my praise.
And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Lord, you are the Healer. Your power that healed the centurion’s servant in Matthew is working today. You still work miracles today. Thank you for gifting the staff at the hospital with the brilliance and skill to excel at administering medical healing.
Thank you for the training that the surgeons and medical staff have received to perform surgery today. We ask that you would be their wisdom and guide their hands as the ultimate physician. Please let the surgery go smoothly and with no complications.
Bring a full recovery to and leave no sign of illness. Please show your healing power today.
Prayers for Hope
I rise before dawn and cry out for help; I put my hope in your word.
You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in your word.
We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield.
He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord.
Rest in God alone, my soul; for my hope comes from him.
We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
God, I confess that yours is hope that I can stand on. Your hope anchors me when I feel overwhelmed because your hope is secure. Wash me in the truth of who you are as I wait during surgery today.
Fill , the doctors, our family, and our community with your hope that does not disappoint. When fear, anger, and discouragement show up, help us to acknowledge the emotions and rely on you to provide love, peace, and joy in their place.Fill us with your peace that surpasses understanding. Fill us with your light. I love you, oh Lord, my strength.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Download a copy of this prayer guide here
You may also be interested in our prayer resources page.
In the comments: Tell us who you are praying for and what the surgery is, and we will join you in interceding for them!
5 Prayers For Doctors Before Surgery
Here are five prayers for doctors you can use before surgery.
Father God, I ask You to guide the hands of the surgeons and give them the skill and knowledge to do exactly what they need to do, and to avoid further complications when unseen circumstances arise so that they might make wise decisions that could avoid serious implications and that You would steady their hands and give them clear vision with which to perform their operational duties. I know that there is no surgery that is truly “minor” because every surgery carries with it risks for the patient. I also ask you to help them give the postoperative advice to the patient’s that is clear, concise, and easy to understand so that the patient will be able to easily follow what the doctors instruct them to do. I also thank God for these skilled men and women who often are under great pressure to do what they must do and often in a short amount of time, so give them the ability to do what You have called them to do, and as always, I ask for these things in the name of and for the glory of the great Son of God, Jesus Christ, in Whose name I pray, amen.
Great God, having already prayed for the surgeons, I ask You to give the comfort that the family members need in trusting the physicians, but ultimately, to trust You in all things, because You are sovereign and nothing happens that You have not ordained to be so.
It is very difficult to wait for hours upon hours in the waiting room, so help them to cope with these hours of uncertainty and to help them have the patience to wait for the surgery to end and not be filled with anxiety.
Even after the surgery, give these families the strength to carry on while their family member recuperates and gains strength while speeding their healing in the process.
Help others come alongside these family members so that they might give them comfort and encouragement in these times of uncertainty, and to know that there are others who care very deeply about their family member, and so I pray for these families that God will be with them and their faith in You will remain strong, and I pray this in the strong name of Jesus Christ, amen.
For the Staff
No surgeon works alone, as You know Father, so help the medical staff, anesthesiologists, aftercare staff, and all who are involved in the surgery to be a valuable aid to the surgeons to help them do their job properly and to help them do exactly what they are supposed to do, and even to plan for unexpected circumstances that sometimes arise. Give them the wisdom to help deal with these things that they did not expect. So much can go wrong in surgery Father, so help the staff be able to perform their duties to the best of their abilities in order to bring about the best possible results for the longest possible time. I thank You God, for these men and women who have so much responsibility and I value the significant importance of their part in the overall surgical process. This is my prayer and as always, I pray for the glory of God, and in particular in the name of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
Father God, we know that our nation has some of the best medical care in the world and we often take them for granted. They are often on-call and in demand, and sometimes they may have to work with little time between surgeries, and that we are thankful for these men and women and that we express our gratitude to them in person.
We should honor those who are in such positions because their often decade-long education and years of experience are invaluable, and it is even more important when they’re operating on one of our own beloved family members or friends.
Help us to exhibit our thankfulness and gratitude to them for what they do, but also for You as You have given us the technology that is among the best available in the world, so help me to give them the credit for their skill and hard work that they deserve, and to be thankful to You God, but also to all who are involved in the surgery and to not take any of them for granted…and it is in the name above all names that I pray for this and for the glory of Your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.
Father, You know our heart. You understand how we feel before we or others are going into surgery. Help these patients have trust in You and have the peace that only You can give them. There is often so much fear before surgery and so much uncertainty in what to expect about whether the surgery will be successful or not.
Take away that fear oh Lord and give them a calm reassurance where they can have peace before going into surgery and to trust You in all things, knowing that You already know the future and have determined the outcome before it happens.
These times of fear can be hard for the patient and the family, so give them Your peace, which surpasses all of our human understanding, and even in our worries, let Your hand be upon them to uphold them before and during the surgery, and let them know that even though all they can do is pray, that the most they can do is pray, and it is in You that we trust, and in the King of kings and Lord of lord’s name I pray, Jesus Christ, amen.
The Great Physician will, in time, bring a new body to each of us Who are His, and that Your Word says of God, that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).
I have spent many days in the hospital visiting members and those who have had surgery, and it’s not always easy to know what to say or what to pray for, for these men, women, and children, so I hope that these prayers can serve as being useful when you’re at a loss to know what to pray for, and that whoever you are praying for receives healing, good medical care, and that what is in the best interests of the patient are what you pray for, because God’s sovereign will is always best, even when it doesn’t feel it, because the Bible promises us that “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
Preparing Your Child for Surgery
Your child needs elective surgery and a date has been scheduled. Un emergency surgery, an elective procedure isn't done as an immediate matter of life and death. Having an elective procedure gives you the time to prepare your child for the hospital and the surgery.
Good preparation can help kids feel less anxious about the anesthesia and surgery and get through the recovery period faster. But, parents everywhere, you're probably uncertain about the best way to prepare your child.
The key is to provide information at your child's level of understanding, correct any misunderstandings, and get rid of fears and feelings of guilt. Help your child understand why the surgery is needed and to become familiar with the hospital and some of the procedures he or she will undergo.
Kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what's going to happen and why it's necessary. To do that, prepare yourself first and correct any misconceptions of your own. If a parent is anxious and nervous, a child will often reflect these feelings and behaviors. So educate yourself, feel comfortable with the process, and make sure all your questions are answered.
You might have heard horror stories in the past about traumatic parent/child separations and very limited hospital visiting hours, but those days are over. Hospitals have changed greatly and are more family-friendly and patient-centered.
For example, many surgeries are now “same-day” procedures requiring no overnight or prolonged stays; most kids are back home, in their own beds, the same night. And most U.S.
hospitals permit at least one parent to stay with the child at all times except during the operation.After the surgery, you may return to your child in the recovery room. As your child awakens, he or she will not even realize you left.
Ask the doctors, nurses, or staff for the information you need about what will take place so that you can prepare your child and deal with your own fears or concerns. To parents, one of the most fearful aspects of surgery is anesthesia. Anesthesia is much safer today than in the past, but still carries some risk. You should discuss any concerns you have in advance with the anesthesiologist.
When hospitalization is needed overnight or longer, most hospitals avoid separation anxiety by permitting at least one parent to stay with the child day and night. Check with the hospital about its rules regarding parents staying over and when other close family members can visit.
As soon as your child is able, he or she may be playing with other children, toys, and games in a children's recreation room — even if that involves taking along an intravenous (IV) bag on a rolling support.
Explain the Problem
Now that you're more at ease, start preparing your child. Begin by explaining the reason for the surgery in simple, calming words.
Explain — at your child's level of understanding — about the medical problem and why surgery is necessary. Don't use alarming language “the doctor will cut you,” “open you up,” or “sew you with a needle.
” Say that the doctor will fix the problem, and explain that many kids have this problem and must get it fixed at the hospital.
Although they seldom express it, kids may fear that their parents aren't telling them everything — that their health problem is worse than they've been led to believe. To build trust, don't mislead your child — tell as much of the truth as your child can understand.
Many kids fear that an operation will be painful. It can help to explain that a special doctor, called an anesthesiologist, gives medicine to make patients sleep very deeply so they won't feel anything during the operation and once it's finished, they'll wake up. (Older kids, in particular, need special assurances that they will wake up.)
Again, avoid frightening language — don't say, “You'll be given gas” or “You'll be put to sleep.” Young kids may confuse “gas” with the fuel that can poison or kill and “put to sleep” with what can happen to sick pets.
Explain that you'll be there when your child wakes up — and a favorite toy can come along, too. Tell your child that if anything feels sore right after the operation, a doctor or nurse can give medicine that will make it feel better.
Common surgery-related fears of young children are the possibility of separation from (or abandonment by) parents and the possibility of pain. School-age kids also fear needles, knives, and damage to their bodies. Give a child this age clear, rational information as well as assurances that the surgery is to fix an existing problem, not create a new one.
The fears of teens go well beyond those of younger kids. Besides pain or change of appearance, a teen might be afraid of losing control, missing out on events, being embarrassed or humiliated in public, and sounding childish by expressing fear, anxiety, or pain. A teen also may be afraid of waking up during the operation — or not waking up afterward.
Anticipate these fears, then emphasize that expressing fear, anxiety, and response to pain is quite normal (and OK) at any age, even adulthood. Correct any misconceptions about disfigurement or injury. And explain that anesthesia is very safe today and that patients do not wake up during operations but will certainly wake up afterward.
Encourage your teen to read up on the medical condition and share the information with the family. Reading and sharing information is an excellent coping mechanism.One further fear that affects kids of all ages is being seen naked and having their “private parts” touched.
If the operation involves the genital or anal area, your child will cope better if you explain in advance that although it might be embarrassing, doctors and nurses will need to examine these private areas, especially to check if they're healing after the operation. Explain that doctors, nurses, and parents are the only exceptions to the rules about privacy.
Encourage your child's questions about the health problem and hospital experience, so that other fears and anxieties can be expressed. Take all questions seriously and answer them to the best of your ability. If you don't know an answer, tell your child that you'll find it out, and explain that the doctors and nurses are happy to answer questions, too.
Children often believe that their medical problem and operation are really punishments for “being bad.” They might not say so, but they may feel guilty and believe that they've brought events on themselves.
Explain that the medical problem is not the result of anything your child may have done or failed to do, and that the operation is not a punishment, but simply the way to “fix” the problem.
On the other hand, if the medical problem was caused by an accident that could have been avoided by obeying safety rules, make sure your child understands the reason for the rules and will follow them in the future.
Explaining What Will Happen
Find books, appropriate to your child's level of understanding, about what to expect at the hospital. Reading together and discussing the surgery will make the hospital seem less threatening. Discuss each idea and encourage your child's questions.
Young kids also will benefit from practicing on a doll or stuffed teddy bear with toy doctor-kit “instruments.” Your child can take the toy's “temperature” and “pulse” and listen to its “heartbeat” and “breathing.”
Ask your doctor for suggested videos or multimedia tools for parents or kids that can help explain the procedure.
As you discuss the hospital and surgery, remember that in addition to your words, your nonverbal cues convey assurance: your tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language send powerful messages. If you appear fearful, your child is ly to feel fearful regardless of the words you use.
Pre-Operative Orientation and Tour
Many hospitals offer special pre-operative children's programs, family orientations, and hospital tours, led by specially trained nurses or licensed child-life specialists.
Child-life specialists are a valuable resource for parents and children.
They are professionals trained to talk to kids and teens about medical procedures, comfort them if they're upset or need extra support, and organize “play time” for hospitalized kids and teens to get together and hang out.Call the hospital to schedule a pre-operative tour, program, or orientation as soon as possible, even from the doctor's office when the appointment for the surgery is made. It's best to schedule the appointment for a few days before the surgery.
An orientation program can remove the mystery of the surgery for kids and their families by making the hospital familiar and friendly and the experience predictable.
On the Day of Surgery
When you arrive on the day of surgery, your young child can play with toys and books you bring from home or sit on your lap and be cuddled during the waiting time.
You won't be allowed to stay in the operating room during the surgery, but afterward, you'll be escorted to the recovery room to be with your child as he or she awakens. Upon discharge, you'll be given instructions for further care at home and for a follow-up visit to the surgeon.
During recovery, there may be times of discomfort for your child. So explain that even if this happens, your child will get better.
Distracting your child, whether with a new book or a visit from a relative or friend, also can make recovery more pleasant. Just make sure your child gets plenty of time to rest and recuperate.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: November 2014
7 Prayers for Before & After Surgery
Surgery is a terrifying thing. Prayer can be a way for you to express your anxieties and accept the encouragement from others that are praying too. No matter what your personal belief system is, there is something so incredibly beautiful about the following 7 prayers for surgery.
7 Prayers For Surgery
Pin this post so you can keep it for when you need it. I found the best prayers from Catholic and Protestant resources.
First, let’s look at some prayers that are appropriate before the surgery.
Heavenly Father, grant me joyful acceptance of the surgery which awaits me and let this be the relief and cure which I seek. Make skilled the work of the surgeon and that of his team for it is unto their knowledge and skill that I give myself for healing. I pray to You, O Lord, that this procedure will be without complication, and that my recovery will be speedy and complete. Amen.
Greek Orthodox Prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who did patiently endure the scourging and wounding of Your most holy Body, that You might save the souls and bodies of Your people, look graciously, we beseech You, upon the suffering body of this Your servant (Name) and give him (her) strength to endure patiently whatsoever You shall see fit to lay upon him (her). Bless the means employed for the working his (her) cure, granting that he (she) may so endure his (her) sufferings in the flesh that the wounding of his (her) body may be to avail for the correcting and salvation of his (her) soul, for Yours it is to show mercy and to save, O Christ our God; and to You do we send up Glory, as to Your Eternal Father and Your All‑Holy, Good and Life‑creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
After the surgery is finished, there is healing that needs to happen. These prayers are a beautiful way to send requests for healing to God.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that this operation is safely past, and now I rest in Your abiding presence, relaxing every tension, releasing every care and anxiety, receiving more and more of Your healing life into every part of my being. In moments of pain, I turn to You for strength, in times of loneliness, I feel Your loving nearness. Grant that Your life and love and joy may flow through me for the healing of others in Your name. Amen.
Blessed Savior, I thank you that this operation is safely past, and now I rest in your abiding presence, relaxing every tension, releasing every care and anxiety, receiving more and more of your healing life into every part of my being. In moments of pain I turn to you for strength, in times of loneliness, I feel your loving nearness. Grant that your life and love and joy may flow through me for the healing of others in your name. Amen.
A Jewish prayer called the Mi Sheberakh is often recited before and after surgery. The original is in Hebrew. A literal English translation follows:
May the One who blessed our ancestors
Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah
bless and heal the one who is ill:
May the Holy Blessed One
overflow with compassion upon him/her,
to restore him/her,
to heal him/her,
to strengthen him/her,
to enliven him/her.
The One will send him/her, speedily,
a complete healing —
healing of the soul and healing of the body
along with all the ill,
among the people of Israel and all humankind,
and let us all say: Amen!
There you have it! 7 prayers for surgery that are perfect for bringing peace. I hope you never have to use them, but if you do, I hope at least one of these prayers helps you find peace and strength.
Also check out:
Mi SheberakhPrayer: The 500 Most Powerful Prayers for Healing & Miracles: Includes Life Changing Prayers for Warrior, Evening, Healing, Miracle & SurgeryHealing Thoughts Throw Blanket – Inspiring and Comforting Positive Words Get Well Gifts – Teal 50 x 60 – Gift ReadyPrayer Before SurgeryGray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer One Patient at a Time
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Nerve Repair Surgery for Babies
With the urgent cry – “It’s a shoulder!” – the birthing unit team at Moncton City Hospital sprang into action. “I didn’t know what was happening at first, but then I realized the baby’s shoulder was stuck,” recalls Becky Gallant of her daughter Emma’s birth in November 2012. “She got out okay, but they knew right away she was injured, because her left arm wouldn’t move.”
Emma had suffered nerve damage in her neck – an uncommon birth outcome known as obstetrical brachial plexus injury – due to overstretching in her neck as her shoulder was freed from the rim of Becky’s pelvis. Specialists informed Becky and her husband Marc that the nerves might spontaneously heal, but after nine months it was clear she needed surgery to gain the use of her arm.
If Emma’s injury had happened even 18 months earlier, the Gallants would have had to travel to Toronto for the 12-hour operation. Fortunately for the family, two highly qualified surgeons – Dr. Michael Bezuhly and Dr. David Tang – had recently joined Dalhousie’s Department of Surgery and begun working together on obstetrical brachial plexus repairs.
Dr. Michael Bezuhly and Dr. David Tang
“It’s an extremely complex and potentially risky procedure,” notes Dr. Bezuhly, an assistant professor and plastic surgeon who trained in obstetrical brachial plexus repair at SickKids in Toronto.
“It requires a dissection from the base of the skull to the armpit to access the affected nerves, and a lot of decision-making between the two of us about where to focus the re-innervation, because there’s never enough nerve tissue to graft.”
The first part of the operation involves removing an expendable nerve that runs along the back of each leg, to be used as a nerve replacement, or graft, to bridge the injured area in the neck. After these donor nerves are harvested, the patient is turned over and the work to replace scarred nerves with healthy nerves begins in the neck.
“The overstretching causes the nerve fibres to fray, which leads to scarring that prevents the transmission of nerve signals,” explains Dr. Tang, an assistant professor and plastic surgeon with subspecialty training in nerve reconstruction.
“This can happen along any of the five nerve branches that run from the upper spinal cord through the brachial plexus to provide sensation and muscle control to the shoulder, arm and hand.
We have to identify which nerves are affected over what length, then cut out the scarred tissue and replace it with the graft.”
The two Dalhousie surgeons performed this procedure on Emma Gallant at the IWK Health Centre in September 2013. “Right after surgery, her hand opened up,” says Becky. “Next, she started to shrug her shoulder, then moving her arm away from her body to reach for things. It’s amazing to see her using her arm more and more, where before it hung limp by her side.”
Dr. Bezuhly and Dr.
Tang are among leading plastic surgeons in Canada who hope to improve both the process and outcomes of obstetric brachial plexus repair surgeries, by also using a new technique known as nerve transfer.
Instead of using grafts to replace damaged nerves, nerve transfer surgery involves splitting the strands of a nearby healthy nerve and re-routing some of those strands into the damaged nerve.
“This approach allows a much smaller incision in the neck or further down the arm, reduces the length of the operation, and could speed up the re-innervation of the muscles for a better overall recovery,” says Dr.
Bezuhly. Through the Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Repair Clinic they’ve established at the IWK, he and Dr. Tang have embarked on a long-term observational study to compare the results of grafting versus nerve transfer.
Dr. Bezuhly has also joined forces with a national group led by researchers at the B.C. Children’s Hospital to see if a special arm splint, called the SUPER splint, could reduce the need for surgery in babies with injuries Emma’s.The splint prevents the hand from contracting into the “waiter’s tip” position, in which the wrist flexes and the hand curls under, by holding it in a more functional, palm-up position during the nine months it typically takes to determine if surgery is needed.
“If the child can hold a cookie and bring it to his or her mouth with a bent elbow, we forego the surgery as the benefits no longer clearly outweigh the risks,” he explains. “We’re looking at potential non-surgical way to achieve a positive outcome.”
Emma wasn’t able to pass “the cookie test” and the Gallants couldn’t be more grateful to Drs. Bezuhly and Tang. As Becky says, “It’s hard to imagine what Emma’s life would be if she hadn’t had the surgery.”
Physiotherapist Kyleigh Woods and occupational therapist Ruth Burrows assess the improvement to Emma Gallant’s arm function a year after her brachial plexus repair surgery as her parents look on.
7 Sample Prayers Before Surgery or a Medical Procedure
Life has never been promised to be easy, and as we get older or go through accidents we sometimes have to go through certain medical procedures or even surgery.
Some of these are minor fixes and some are extremely serious undertakings. Are you or maybe someone you know going through a procedure soon? One thing must be done here.
Pray! Give these situations to God and trust in Him through it all. Here are 7 sample prayers before surgery or medical procedure.
Minor Bump In The Road
I come to you with a simple prayer. I am Your child and I love You. Thank you for Your grace and mercy on me. Father, I’m going to get stiches put in and I know this is not a huge deal. But, I still pray that the procedure will go quickly and as pain free as possible. May Your name be praised and glorified through it all. Amen
The fire really did a number on me. I am scared for this surgery, Lord. Will the doctors be able to make me look me again? I’m scared of the outcome, Lord, and that is why I need Your peace so badly right now. Help me through this and hold my hand. I need You, God. Thank You always for the many blessings You lavish on me. You are such a loving God! I love You! Amen
My upcoming surgery is a step above minor but nothing to be too worried about. But I have anxiety because they have to make me sleep first with gas. This sounds crazy, but I’m afraid I won’t wake up. I’ve heard stories about people not waking up.
I don’t know if these are really true, but I’m still scared. Father, help me to be calm and at peace through this. I pray that the anesthesiologist will be 100% accurate and give me only what I need to sleep. I’m nervous, Lord. Help me to be strong.
I love You! Amen
This Is Serious
You know the problems my son has and the brain surgery he is about to go through is huge! He could be healed through this, but I am a wreck! One tiny wrong move from the surgeon could make my boy worse.
Lord, I pray for Your peace on me and my boy. I pray for the surgeon. I pray that You would guide his hands skillfully and accurately so that this is a success! I am hopeful, but I need Your presence with me.
I need You in all things, Lord! I love You! Amen
I’m The Surgeon
Dear Heavenly Father,
Today I have a big surgery coming up. Lord, I don’t want to mess this up and I need You to guide my hands. I need You to be with me every single step of the way.
This woman is committing her life to my hands while she is under and I want her to have full confidence in me just as I have in You, Lord. I know my job well, but I never want to take it for granted.
Keep me focused and alert, Lord, as I help fix what is broken. Thank You for Your love and grace, Lord. Amen
Is This Really Happening?
Everything was great. Every ultrasound has been perfect. Our little one in the womb has been growing perfectly as we are waiting for his arrival into the world. Lord, the doctors are saying that if emergency surgery is not done then my wife will die in delivery. But, our baby has only been in the womb for 22 weeks.
Delivering him now is most definitely a death sentence. Lord, I have never been more afraid in my life! My wife is 2nd to You and I love her unconditionally. Lord, I don’t want to see her leave, not yet. Father, doctors have been wrong before and I pray that You prove them wrong now as my wife and I have decided that surgery just isn’t an option.
We pray for a miracle. We pray that when this is all over that our baby will be delivered healthy and happy and that my wife will be perfectly fine. May You use this as an opportunity to showcase Your glory in this situation.
I will proclaim Your name to the staff there, so that they know You made this amazing miracle happen! Please hear this prayer! I need You and love You! Amen
Daddy is on his way to the hospital. He’s suffered a heart attack. I have no idea if he will survive this one. He’s had 2 in the last year and they aren’t getting any better. Lord, I love my daddy, but he is suffering so much at the same time.
I just want for him to be in Heaven pain free, jumping and running around with glee. But my selfish side wants him here. My kids love grandpa and I haven’t had the courage to talk with them about his recent attacks.
Lord, may Your will be done in this because I trust in You just my daddy. If surgery can save him again then I pray that would happen. But, if he goes to be with You, I will know for certain that he will be happy walking side by side with Jesus. Lord, this is so tough.Be with me and my family. We need You now more than ever. May You be glorified in whatever the outcome. I love You! Amen