Congenital Heart Disease Open Heart Surgery-for Babies and Toddlers

I had little contact with heart disease however just 10 days later was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) plan of our newborn baby who required lifesaving open heart surgery o-n 1 December 2002.

Whilst many diseases are very well known, these are little known facts:

Heart defects exist in 1 in 10-0 babies

Cardiovascular disease in kiddies is the leading cause of childhood death in Australia accounting for one month of all child deaths. Identify further on a partner link - Visit this web site: Zofran Birth Defect Lawsuit Alleges Drug Caused Heart Defects In Two Children.

Not exactly twice as much children die of congenital heart disease in comparison with all childhood cancers

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

The amazing thing is how much surgery and medicine has evolved to allow another opportunity for many babies like ours that only 20 years ago wouldn't have survived.

While there is a myriad of different abnormalities that will occur, our baby expected reconstruction for a coarctation of the aortic arch, reconstruction of both the aortic and mitral valves and closing of a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).

The aortic and mitral valves were thin and the structure of the valves was notably different to what they ought to have been. Though the aortic valve reconstruction was very effective, the mitral valve is much more complex and following surgery the gradient across the valve was still high thus making our child with mitral valve stenosis (narrowing of the valve).

This particular surgery took 5.5 hours and the stakes were high an one in five or 10% chance our daughter wouldn't survive.

Following surgery the next twenty four hours is seen as a period where if issues are going to be encountered, this is likely to be the period. This is simply not to state that post 24-hours means everything is okay and dandy. Restoration within our case was slow using a further ten days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Uni-t for weaning off the ventilator which assists and at times starts breathing, as well as waiting for the heart to be in in order that pacemakers and other medications are no-longer necessary. This riveting site has specific elegant suggestions for when to allow for it.

A lot of the recovery period is trial and error or even more like careful monitoring and adjustment as necessary. For instance following heart surgery patients are fluid restricted to aid the task the heart has to do thus attempting to prevent the build-up of fluids leading to heart failure. On-the other side of this coin however is that someone are able to end up dehydrated.

It's difficult to know whether advance understanding of a heart problem within an unborn baby will be a lot better than the surprise we experienced with examination two days after the beginning of our child. In any event it's an extremely stressful approach that in our case did not and hasn't ended with all the surgery following birth. In most cases further surgery is needed, for us another reconstruction of the mitral valve at two-years old and further surgery is expected with ultimate substitution of the mitral valve with an artificial valve.

The not known through-out our process and in many cases is once the next surgery is likely to be required. For these cases, families of babies, toddlers and kids go from day to day, week to week, month to month, and often year to year ahead of the next call to surgery comes.

For anyone in the same situation our prayers and thoughts go out to you. For anybody interested, the amazing story in terms of the continuing saga with this son are available at