June 12, 2009

Cardiologist Visit

When Chase was suspected of having Down syndrome, the first thing they did was to check his heart, as 50% of babies with DS are born with congenital heart defects. Thankfully, he had only a minuscule hole in his heart (which quickly healed itself), high blood pressure in his lungs (which was corrected in the NICU), and dysplastic (thick) valves. Today was the long-awaited visit to the cardiologist to have a follow-up for all of these issues.

The great news is that the dysplastic valves have disappeared! Yea! The not so great news is that they found an atrial-septal defect called a PFO.

In all babies in the womb, a small opening — the foramen ovale — exists between the right and left upper chambers of the heart (right atrium and left atrium). This opening should close after birth, but sometimes it does not close properly. This is called patent foramen ovale (PFO) and is problematic because it can allow blood to flow from the right and left atrium.

As far as heart defects go, this is not a terrible problem to have - at least it is a better problem than dysplastic valves. It won't cause any symptoms right now, and they will just wait a year to check and see if it has repaired itself and closed, or on the other hand stayed the same size or gotten bigger. If it continues to be problematic, we would wait until Chase is three years old and have a catheter inserted to put a device in the opening to close things up. This is much better than a defect involving open heart surgery!

So keep praying for Chase's heart - that the PFO would resolve itself and that no further action would be needed. And praise God that the other issues have disappeared! All in all, Chase is a very very lucky baby!!


  1. Sending lots of prayers your way!

  2. Will be praying for you and ur boys! following now from mbc