Who Needs a Normal Heart Anyway?

Ah research. Research like this, I just don’t need. After looking into my surgical summary a bit more and joining the ACHA message boards, I have a better idea of what’s going inside under my sternum. So here’s what seems to be the full list, in alphabetical order:

  • ASD: Atrial Septal Defect.
  • Dextrocardia: My particular form is Isolated Dextrocardia. Situs Inversus Totalis (total inversion of all internal organs) is not present. Requires frequent specialized followup.
  • DORV: Double Outlet Right Ventricle. Combination of VSD, PS, and mitral valve deformity. My mitral and tricuspid valves were surgically separated. Requires frequent specialized followup.
  • JAA: Juxtaposed Atrial Appendages.
  • L-TGA: Also called CC-TGA. Stands for Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Vessels Arterial. Deemed “corrected” since vessel transposition essentially counteracts Dextrocardia. Requires frequent specialized followup.
  • PS: Pulmonary Valve Stenosis. My pulmonary valve was only opening to 7mm, surgery opened it to 14mm. Case described as severe.
  • Single Coronary Artery: A rare vessel deformity resulting in a single artery branching from the aortic trunk to supply the entire heart.
  • VSD: Ventricular Septal Defect. There were two of these, larger sub-pulmonary VSD was corrected via Dacron patch.

And that’s the current laundry list of abnormalities. Three are listed in the American College of Cardiology list of defects requiring yearly followup by a specialist in adult congenital defects. Two are listed as “moderate” only requiring checkups every two or three years. It’s funny, considering the total number of such appointments I’ve attended since 1984 is zero. Now, if you’ll excuse my while I try to suppress my panic…