This adorable little boy is Ismet and he is just six years old. He was diagnosed with a large secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) and has been severely symptomatic for the last year, getting easily tired. An atrial septal defect is a hole between the upper chambers of the heart and is a common congenital heart defect. If the hole is small, it may not cause any problems or need treatment. However, if the ASD is large, it can allow blood to leak into the wrong chambers of the heart causing symptoms and complications.
An atrial septal defect is treated by closing the hole in the heart and can be done in two ways:
Catheter-based repair: An interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter into a blood vessel and guides it to the heart using imaging techniques. Once the ASD is detected a mesh patch or plug is passed through the catheter and used to close the hole.
Open-heart surgery: A cardiac surgeon performs a median sternotomy to expose the heart and detect the ASD, and then closes it with a patch, or sutures. ASD closure can also be done minimally invasively with a partial sternotomy.
Following an interdisciplinary evaluation of Ismet's ASD, it was determined that he is unsuitable for a transcatheter closure due to its large size and lack of an inferior rim. As a result, the suggested treatment for this adorable boy was a surgical closure of the ASD.
Ismet arrived for his admission with his father, carrying all of his favorite toys. He was friendly and approachable and did an outstanding job of complying with the nurses' and doctors' directions.
On the day of the surgery, his parents waited patiently and when the procedure was completed, they were directed to the intensive care unit to see their brave son, where he was closely monitored by our team.
Ismet recovered rapidly, and despite the ups and downs of his journey, he maintained a positive attitude by playing and laughing with his roommates and comforting his parents with a cheeky smile and funny gestures. As days passed, he became stronger and stronger and was ready to return home just 5 days later.
Following his discharge, Ismet was scheduled for two follow-up visits to ensure that his recovery was proceeding exactly as planned, and he will now return to his pediatric cardiologist for monitoring.
Dear Ismet, we are so proud of how brave you were in fighting this battle.
Dear Parents, thank you for all your patience and understanding!