Hello friends, let me enlighten you with the latest developments in my story. If you are lazy to read this insanely long post, I’ve included a TLDR at the bottom
So to give any new readers some context, few months back I’ve been diagnosed of multiple ASDs (1 big, 1 small) and were given different opinions for closure by cardiologists. Finally I have decided to go with device closure but that’s only for the bigger ASD and decided to leave the small one intact since it was said to be too small.
The day had arrived and I was in the cath lab all set for the device closure procedure. While the cardiologist was preparing my groin for the catheter, transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) was performed to visualize the holes. (TOE was done twice before as well, by different cardiologists and the reports had confirmed the two holes). I was sedated so wasn’t sure what exactly happened at this point of time, but later my wife told me that the doctor has called her and said that my atrial septum is like a swiss-cheese and device closure is not possible. And he has asked permission to perform an angiogram as now my only option is to go with OHS.
So while the catheter is in place and I’m on local anesthesia and sedation, an angiogram was done to see if there are any blocks in coronary arteries. The report turned out to be normal. Later I found out that this is a prerequisite if someone at my age is going to get an OHS done. So after about 1 and half days in hospital, I came home with a lost hope, an incision in my groin and an OHS scheduled for next week. I had to delay the surgery for at least 5 days since I’ve been drugged with blood thinning meds.
The week before OHS was the most stressful week I had ever lived. But I was finally happy because now I do not have any options to choose from and do not need to freak out thinking what if I choose the wrong one. This was the main concern I had since I’ve been diagnosed. As the cardiologist has explained, I have multi-fenestrated ASD (mfASD), which is not so common. According to him, going for a device closure is not possible due to the positioning of the holes as some are too close to edges and valves. So his suggestion was to get everything closed by a cardiothoracic surgeon under direct vision, hence OHS.
Since many of you on this thread have already suggested me to go with OHS, the decision was somewhat easier for me to take, although I was really scared of it initially. (BTW I asked the possibility of doing a minimally invasive surgery, but the surgeon refused saying he needs to do a proper job and my case is something he should go through the sternum. But I have to admit, minimally invasive surgery isn’t mainstream here in my country yet so expertise is hard to find as well, so I decided it’s better to go old-school despite the long recovery.)
So as planned I faced OHS surgery last week (15/12/2018). The multiple ASDs were closed using a pericardium patch. I was in the ICU for 3 days and another 4 days in the ward and was discharged two days back and now recovering at home. The surgery was a success and was confirmed by an echo test just before I was discharged. I’m feeling pretty well despite the usual lung capacity reduction and occasional incision pains. As a fact, I never thought the pains from the wounds after an OHS could be this less!
The only issue I found was my inability to sleep flat so I’m sleeping on a recliner chair and that sort of inducing a back pain now. I’m following the exercise routine given by my physiotherapist and I’m doing my lung capacity extension breathing exercises alongside. My incision is healing pretty fine, so far no complications. It actually looks better than I expected it to be. I’m on no meds, just paracetamol as a pain killer. That too to be taken only when necessary. Surgeon told me that I don’t need any special drugs since the patch was from my own pericardium.
As a final note, I really can’t thank enough for the advice and support I received through this site before surgery. I consider extremely lucky to have found this site and to have such caring members whom could motivate and guide a totally lost stranger to follow the correct path. Thank you very much! God bless everyone!
I’ve been diagnosed of multiple ASDs and was in a dilemma to decide on whether to go with device(s) or OHS. Although I opted for a device closure, final TOE test revealed that I’m not suitable hence went through OHS (via sternum). My final diagnosis was that I have mfASDs (multi-fenestrated) which aren’t dispersed in a way worthy for a device closure. Although OHS was the last on my list initially, I’m glad that I got the chance to rule out all other options with proper evidence and finally got it done the best way possible for me. If anyone else is in the same boat as me, I believe my story will give them hope. One more thing. Never push OHS down your options list just because the thought of it is scary. It isn’t painful or the recovery doesn’t suck as much as how it appears on the Internet All the best!