Thursday, September 22, 2016

Have a Heart

Every child adopted from China nowadays has some sort of special need. Needs can range in severity from minor and/or correctable to very severe. Our daughter's special need is a ventricular septal defect (VSD) in her heart. It was already repaired with a surgery in China, so all she should need in the future is some cardiology follow-up appointments.

I didn't really know (okay, I had no clue!) what a VSD was, so I figured I'd educate you all along with myself. Basically, it's a hole in the wall (septum) separating the two lower chambers of the heart. Normally, the wall closes before birth, so the oxygen-rich blood on the left side can't mix with the oxygen-poor blood on the right side. A VSD causes the heart to have to work harder to provide oxygen to the body's tissues.

Our girl's VSD was diagnosed because she had an ongoing heart murmur, an extra or unusual sound heard with her heartbeat. Other symptoms include shortness of breath or poor eating, but we don't know that she had problems with that. This is a very common heart defect; about 1 in 500 babies are born with it.

In November of last year, our girl had a surgery to repair her VSD. Instead of having an open-heart procedure, she was able to have her repair done by catheter. The surgeon in China inserted a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in her groin and guided it to her heart. A specially sized mesh device called an occluder was inserted to patch the hole.

We had a couple of cardiologists review our girl's file, which included results of her echocardiogram after the surgery, and they said everything looked great. We already know that Children's Hospital here in Denver is awesome, so we'll definitely be taking her to the cardiology department there for a check-up right when she gets home. But overall, we're very happy that she's so healthy, she didn't (and won't) have to have open-heart surgery, and that her prognosis seems so positive!

No comments:

Post a Comment