I am new here...so just a little background:
In my teens I began having palpitations and even had my Mom take me to the ER on two separate occasions. Both times they did an EKG, which was normal, and told me I had a panic attack. I had a physical prior to starting nursing school at age 20 and my PCP heard a murmur. I went to a cardiologist who did an Echo and said I had Mitral Valve Prolapse, very mild, and that I would only need to follow up for echos every 5 years or so. I never really had any further symptoms aside from mild palps which I attributed to MVP, and I skipped my 5 year Cardiologist follow up.
When I was 28 I wanted to start a family and my Ob Gyn wanted me to get Cardiologist clearance. I went to a different Cardiologist who didn't even care to do an echo. He listened to me and said to forget I ever had MVP because he didn't even hear a murmur and send me on my way.
I am 29 years old and just had my son 4 months ago. About 2 months after I had him I had a couple major episodes of racing heart, weakness, dizziness...it was way beyond the minor flutters I was used to experiencing. They would last about 5 minutes and wouldn't subside until I laid down and took deep breaths. This made me a littler nervous so I returned to my Cardiologist, this time insisting on an echo. They did a bubble study as well, and I was absolutely shocked when my Dr came in and said I possibly had a hole in my heart (he said ASD or PFO) and he wanted me to do a Cardiac MRI. There was some "shunting" and moderate right heart enlargement. He said it wasn't urgent, and since I was breastfeeding I could wait several months until I was done with that.
I left his office in a daze, and immediately decided I was going to stop BFing and get the test ASAP. Through hours of googling I became more and more nervous about this possible diagnosis. I went for the MRI last week and my Dr called me Friday while I was at work. He told me I did have an ASD, 2cm/20mm, the secundum type. I immediately asked about device closure since I was hoping and praying for secundum so I would have this option. He advised against it, saying if I were his daughter he wouldn't let me have it...that OHS is the best and safest way given the size of my defect and the lack of research on long term issues with devices. I was crushed.
I have an appointment with a really good surgeon on May 9th...but I continue to do research on options..device (Helex or Amplatzer) and sternotomy versus Da Vinci. The problem is that I think because this condition is rare, and usually treated in kids..that it will be an uphill battle finding someone who is comfortable with all of the alternatives.
AT this moment I am leaning toward OHS with a sternotomy...although I know it will be a long and painful recovery I worry that the device will cause anxiety. I will worry about complications, issues down the road, etc and not be able to fully move on with my life. I am still blindsided by all of this as I have a 4 month old baby, and was at the height of my life when all of this happened.
My husband is scared (just like I am) about the OHS and pushes me to really consider the device if that is an option once I talk to the surgeon.
I just don't know what to do! I hate the idea of the pain, recovery, not being able to carry my child for awhile, with the OHS...but the issues with the device worry me.