FAQ - Heart Septal Defects, Atrial
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if somebody has a atrial fibrulation or atrial flutter heart cond. can it cause brain damage?

if somebody has had a atrial fibrulation or atrial flutter for years and years, is this something that could cause brain damage?

There is a chance that a clot will form on the walls of the atria. The clot can break loose and lodge in the brain and cause a stroke. It could also lodge in a lung and cause a pulmonary embolism.

I am an RN.  (+ info)

What is the difference between the heart's atrial chambers and its ventricular chambers?

The atria are the two smaller top chambers that momentarily hold the blood before going down to the two larger, stronger bottom chambers (ventricles) to be pumped out to your body. The left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood out to all of the organs and tissues in your body. After the blood circulates through the body and drops off the oxygen, it then returns to the right atria before going to the right ventricle which then pumps the deoxygenated blood to the lungs to pick up more oxygen before returning to the left atria then left ventricle to start the process all over again.  (+ info)

What is the best way or treatment for congenital heart defects or "hole in heart"?

The hole size is 1.8cm. What are the success rate and risks of different types of operation or and different type of treatments? How long will a patient considered fully recovered from such procedures? Can a person lead a normal life after operation/treatment?

This article will help you out:

SEPTAL DEFECT is an abnormality developed before birth. There are two types: ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defect (ASD). In both cases oxygenated blood is forced from the left to the right side of the heart through a hole in the partition between the two sides. Too much blood passes into the lungs (via the pulmonary artery) and too little to the body tissues (via the aorta).

Ventricular septal defects are the most common, affecting about 150 babies in every 100,000. A small defect produces little or no effect but with a large ventricular hole, heart failure may develop six to eight weeks after birth. With large atrial defects, however, heart failure may not develop for many years or not at all.

The diagnosis is based on hearing a heart murmur (abnormal heart sounds made by turbulent blood flow) through a stethoscope. This is then followed by a chest x-ray and ECG.

Until recently, the only way to close a hole was though open-heart surgery. A revolutionary key-hole procedure is being trialled at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. A device called a septal occluder is inserted through a hole in the groin. It is sucked into a tube and fed through to the heart. When in place the device opens like an umbrella and instantly blocks the hole. In a few minutes a blood clot will form on the wire discs making a watertight skin. As the patient grows the heart will grow around the septal occluder.

Recovery is about 24 hours compared with two weeks for open heart surgery. Once the results of these trials have been evaluated it is hoped the procedure will b e available throughout Australia within six months.
In other procedures total recovery is in six month and the patient lead a Normal Span Of Life.
The risk is now very small,(much reduced) with advance technology.  (+ info)

Atrial Septum Defects: Right to Left Shunt?

I have a question for any doctors, surgeons or other qualified individuals. I am going in for a definative test next week, but I probably have a right-to-left shunt across my atrial septum. I'm wondering what types of surgeries are used to fix this and how dangerous they are.

I am 20, very healthy, have low bp, low resting heartrate (I'm an endurance athlete). I have some breathing issues, my O2 sat drops during exercise, and the right side of my heart is enlarged.

What can I expect?

hi there.

The heart has four chambers,- two atria (right and left), and two ventricules, (right and left). Blood from the superior & inferior vena cave goes to the right atrium, to the right ventricle, then to the lungs, then to the left atrium, and lastly to the left ventricule, before it is ejected out of the heart.

Atrial septal defect (ASD) simply means there is a defect and a connection between the two atria(atrium). So, some blood that is suppose to go the left ventricle, flows back to the right atrium.

It is a left to right shunt- since blood from the left atrium(with the higher pressure) will go the right atrium.
Not all ASD needs surgery. generally, if the QPQS is less than 1.5:1, person can be observed.

If the ASD is to be treated, surgical closure by means of a patch or primary repair can easily be done with low risk of mortality nor morbidity.
Anothe form of closure is the endovascular route.  (+ info)

i have a question about congenital heart defects?

my daughter was born with a hypoplastic aortic arch, a coarctation of the aorta and a small hole in her heart....i did not know of her condition until after birth. i had a very normal pregnancy. during ultrasounds i felt like the technician always looked at her heart more than everything else....one time i had to have a repeat ultrasound because they "couldnt get a good look at the heart" ??? doctors have assured me that this was not a problem they could have diagnosed or seen without having a fetal echocardiagram. i never had any special ultrasounds--just the regular one in the drs office. im just wondering if anyone else had this happen? or if there is an ultrasound tech out there that can give me some more info about if i could have known about this before my daughter born. her defects were so bad that when her "PDA" started to close she went into heart failure and shock and she almost didnt make it.

First of all, a fetal echo is not a risky procedure. It's just an ultrasound done by a pediatric cardiologist looking only at the heart. It does expose the fetus to more radiation, which is not the best thing in the world, but I firmly believe that the benefits of prenatal diagnosis outweigh this.

My daughter was diagnosed prenatally with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. After several attempts to look at the heart and being unable to get good pictures of it (which the u/s tech attributed to the position she was lying in) the doctors in my OB practice just happened to pick my case to review and recommended a level II u/s for a second opinion. If they hadn't been going over it more closely I don't know if we would have known about her heart defect prenatally. I consider us lucky that the doctors caught that. That's why I tell everyone I know that if the u/s tech has a problem seeing your baby's heart well, request a level II if they don't suggest it. Heart defects are the most common birth defect, occuring in about 1% of newborns. Most are not as severe as my daughter or yours though.

A baby's heart is tiny, about the size of a walnut when they are born full term, and smaller than that in utero. It can be hard for even a trained u/s technician to see all of its parts. The only reason they caught my daughter's is because one of the ventricles was practically nonexistent, and that's one of the larger structures of the heart. I can't imagine it would be easy to detect a COA/HAA on a regular u/s - those structures are just so small.

My daughter is 20 months old, has had two open heart surgeries, and is doing absolutely fabulous. You would never know anything is wrong with her heart. Positive outcomes are very common.

Anyway, I hope this helps. You are not alone - there are a lot of parents dealing with CHD, many who did not find out about their child's defect until after birth. I know it is very devastating. I hope your daughter is doing well now.

(nurse_kiddy - I replied to the email you sent me but I'm not sure it went through - did you get it? [email protected])  (+ info)

I have atrial fibrulation and a weak heart.I am 55 ,feel fine and stayin good shape.?

I want to do whatever i can to stay healthy and improve my weak heart.The doctors dont have much positive feedback and of course have me on medication.I am just seeking alternative input....Thankyou if you have anything to suggest...

It is important to follow the doctor's orders and take your medication. You may want to ask your doctor which exercises are safe for you; and maybe the doc could also refer you to a dietician for proper diet. I know it is probably wise to avoid caffeine and too much chochlate. Another thing to watch out is blood clots. Sometimes doctors will also put their patients with a-fib on aspirin for preventative measures  (+ info)

What is the difference between cyanotic and acyanotic heart defects?__?

With a "cyanotic heart defect"- the patient has lack of oxygen going to the body usually because of an abnormal blockage or malformation of blood flowing from the right part of the heart into the lungs. Since not enough blood flow gets to the lungs, the pt may turn blue or "cyanotic".
WIth acyanotic heart defects - ususally involving the left part of the heart there is usually abnormal blood flow going from the left part of the heart to body. This doesn't cause the person to turn blue "acyanotic"- but may lead to congestive heart failure. good luck  (+ info)

How common are gained heart problems in 20-25 year old males? I mean excluding defects you're bo?

How common is it for men of my age to acquire heart problems such as heart disease, enlarged hearts, valve problems, aorta probs and other defects?

I know some probs are inherited and there from birth but what is the likelyhood of someone my age acquiring a heart defect of any kind?
title means to ask born with?

Its not a high chance, but there is an incidence of around 10% (taking into account all possible heart problems);
Its higher than a lot of people realise!  (+ info)

does anyone else have an atrial septal defect (ASD)?

I'm 18 years old and I had an ASD repair at age 6 1/2 by one of the best cardiologists in the country, Richard Jonas. I go for checkups with my cardiologist every six months (and at most, a year). I'm just wondering, can I expect to live a normal, long life? My doctors reassure me that I will and MAYBE I'll have to have a minor repair again in my 40s or 50s.

As of my last checkup, I have very minor leakage, which is normal. I'm an otherwise healthy girl. I was born 7 weeks premature and I have a mild case of spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (the muscles below my hips are tight) and strabismus, but both conditions are under control.

I'm just wondering, am I more at risk for heart attacks, strokes, and the like? My surgeon said that -- other than the possible minor correction -- I will live a normal life. I'm just concerned that my doctors are being "too nice" or something because I have an anxiety problem and tend to overreact to things. I know I have to get my anxiety under control, which I'm working on, but I was wondering if anyone else has or had an ASD and what their life is like.

As I've said, I'm healthy -- I eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly. Sometimes I just worry about the little things and tend to blow them out of proportion. Like sometimes I'll get mild chest pain, which my doctors have assured me is due to anxiety. My family genes are excellent, as well. Although diabetes runs in my dad's family, everyone has had an easy time of controlling it. Additionally, my paternal grandparents both have cancer (but both were heavy smokers, too), and my great uncle has had several heart attacks (but is otherwise healthy). My maternal grandfather died of a massive heart attack, but he was obese, smoked quite a lot when he was younger, and was a recovering alcoholic.

I'm sorry to include so much of my family history, I'm just looking to see if I really will live a long, normal, and healthy life. Thanks so much for everything!

Well, if you HAVE to have a heart defect, an ASD is probably the one to have. The correction is fairly easy, thankfully. Heart surgeons use something called the Aristotle Scale to judge how difficult a procedure is. An ASD repair is a 3 - the "simplest" heart surgery there is. (No heart surgery is truly simple, of course.)

The main problem occurs when you have a repair when you are young: As you grow, your heart grows, and you outgrow the repair. Or as you age, the repair wears out. That's why they are telling you that you *might* have to have another repair later. You'll really just have to wait and see.

As for right now, you need to do two things: 1) Live your life and enjoy it! 2) Stay on top of your medical tests and your doctors appointments! Don't worry unnecessarily, but since you know that you have a heart problem, just take extra care of yourself. Hopefully all will go well for you!  (+ info)

Do most people with heart defects get tired easily?

How long can they usually walk before getting too tired? Also how could excessive running (over 2/3 kms) harm them?

Do the majority of these people sometimes need a disabled stroller or wheelchair? I used to know someone who had this type of problem and had to use a disabled stroller when walking long distances as they got tired quickly and easily.

I have cardiomyopathy and lead a normal life, yes you can get more tired than a healthier person.

I don't run, walking is just as good for exercise  (+ info)

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