Congenital Heart Disease Open Heart Surgery-for Babies and Toddlers

On 1 December 2002 I had little exposure to heart infection however only 10 days later was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) bedside of our newborn who required life-saving open heart surgery.

Whilst many diseases are well known, the following are little known facts:

Heart defects exist in 1 in 10-0 children

Heart problems in kids is the major cause of childhood death in Australia accounting for thirty days of most child deaths.

Almost twice as much kiddies die of congenital cardiovascular disease in comparison with all childhood cancers

In 80-year of cases the cause is basically unknown.

The amazing thing is how far medicine and surgery has evolved to permit an additional chance for many babies like mine that only twenty years ago would not have survived.

While there is a variety of different abnormalities that can happen, reconstruction was required by our newborn baby for a coarctation of the aortic arch, reconstruction of the aortic and mitral valves and closing of the Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).

The mitral and aortic valves were narrow and the composition of the valves was somewhat dissimilar to what they ought to have been. While the aortic valve reconstruction was quite successful, the mitral valve is a lot more complicated and following surgery the gradient across the valve was still high hence making our child with mitral valve stenosis (narrowing of the valve).

This particular surgery took 5.5 hours and the levels were high an one in ten or 10% possibility that our son would not survive.

Following surgery the next 24-hours is seen as a period where if problems are getting to be encountered, that is apt to be the period. This is simply not to say that post 24 hours means every thing is fine and dandy. Restoration inside our case was slow using a further five days within the Pediatric Intensive Care Uni-t for weaning off the ventilator which helps and occasionally triggers breathing, as well as waiting for one's heart to settle to ensure that pacemakers and other medications are no-longer necessary.

Much of the recovery time is trial and error or even more like careful monitoring and modification as necessary. For instance following heart surgery patients are fluid restricted to support the work the heart has to do thus attempting to prevent the build-up of fluids resulting in heart failure. On-the other side of the coin however is that an individual can then find yourself dry.

It is hard to know whether advance understanding of a heart condition within an unborn child could be better than the surprise we familiar with diagnosis two days after the start of our child. To read additional information, you may check-out: In Louisiana, Mother Says Zofran Caused Her Son's Congenital Heart Defects. In any event it's an enormously stressful procedure that in our case did not and hasn't ended with all the surgery following delivery. In many cases further surgery is required, for all of us another reconstruction of the mitral valve at two years old and further surgery is expected with final substitution of the mitral valve with an artificial valve.

The not known all through our approach and most of the time is if the next surgery is going to be required. For these cases, categories of children, youngsters and kiddies go from day to day, week to week, month to month, and often year to year before the next call to surgery comes.

For those in an identical situation our desires and thoughts go out to you. For anyone interested, the amazing story in terms of the continuing saga with our child can be found at