This afternoon is Gabe's one year followup to his last (hopefully forever )open heart surgery and patch procedure. Technically, we are shy of the one year anniversary by nine days, but we figured it was close enough. Gabe will have an echo today, if all goes as planned and Sir Squirmy plays well with others. He hasn't had an echo since last summer and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious. Dr. G has certainly seen him enough between here and there, and according to our favorite life saving doctor, Gabe's murmur sounds like it is at least the same if not better. I love Dr. G., but no man has ever made me cry as much as him, so let's hope this isn't a hankie visit.
1) During Gabe's surgery the team discovered he had grown collateral arteries - which is truly amazing. His body adapted to the stenosis in his pulmonary artery by making new arteries to the lungs - how cool is that? However, following surgery, those extra arteries were not needed and we have to see how his body reacts to the change in circulation.
2) The nature of Gabe's repair fixed the prior stenosis, but created a new stenotic area when they patched the prior stenosis. The gradient in his heart pressure wasn't high enough to be considered moderate or low enough to be considered mild. Dr. G. has settles on "mildish".
3) As always, Gabe is at a higher risk for developing stenosis and valve problems.
At our last appointment when I forced Dr. G. to tell me how Gabe's heart was doing on a scale of 1-10 ( I would loathe to have myself as a patient - poor Dr. G.) with a 10 being a child post ASO who had no scarring issues and healed perfectly, he gave Gabe a 7. I would prefer an 8 or a 9, but I can live with a 7. Gabe can live with a 7.
Dr. G. reaffirmed at our last appointment ( because I forced him to ) that there was no reason to expect that Gabe's heart wouldn't last a lifetime (a long lifetime) or to anticipate that he will need more surgery. We are hoping that Gabe will outgrow most of concerns (which honestly, are likely more mine than Dr. G's) and that any remaining ones, if necessary, can be handled in the cath lab.
Gabe will always have some degree of narrowing. Gabe will always have a bicuspid valve. Gabe will always have collateral arteries. But as long as everything behaves itself and plays well with each other, Gabe's heart should continue to function at 100%.