Making Sure All Systems Are "Go"
If you’ve ever experienced a plumbing problem in your home, you know the value of an expert plumber.
But what if you’re Cindy and Ryan Buell and that “plumbing problem” involved your unborn son rather than your home?
The answer is that you would be especially grateful for expert medical professionals who deal with the “human plumbing system.”
Even before their son Holden was born in November 2009, Cindy and Ryan knew their baby would need urologic surgery shortly after his birth at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.
Ultrasound imaging during Cindy’s pregnancy revealed that Holden's kidneys were abnormally large. This was due to a flap of tissue blocking the infant’s urethra, which caused urine to back up into his renal system and put pressure on his kidneys.
As Cindy’s pregnancy progressed, a team of medical professionals carefully weighed the need to surgically correct the problem against the need to let the baby develop as much and as long as possible in the womb.
“They had to balance the risks associated with the baby being premature against the damage being done to his kidneys,” explains Cindy. “We had to make sure the baby would be strong enough to handle the surgery.”
Ultimately, Holden was delivered a month early. Four days after his birth, Scottsdale Healthcare pediatric urologist Michael Ritchey, MD performed surgery on the tiny infant to remove the troublesome flap of tissue. Little Holden then spent 11 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, which Cindy is thankful was only five minutes away rather than downtown.
The Arizona Perinatal Trust has designated Scottsdale Healthcare’s NICU as a Level III facility, the state’s highest level of certification to care for critically ill newborns and high-risk pregnancies. The NICU is staffed by skilled neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, specially trained nurses and respiratory professionals who provide around-the-clock care.
“We experienced everything from the special anesthesiologist for babies to the amazing neonatologists and nurses in the NICU. I have only great things to say. It was just an incredible group all the way around,” says Cindy.
She especially praises the way Scottsdale Healthcare physicians and nurses communicated frequently and articulated medical information in easy-to-understand terms. “I never felt confused or overwhelmed. I always felt confident and knew what the plan was,” Cindy says.