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I Have A Question - Shunt In Heart?




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3 replies to this topic

#1 Nickleblue

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 10:32 AM

As the title says..
Why would someone have a shunt put into their heart...I read online that a shunt goes into one of three places in the head to drain fluid from the brain. So as not to incur water on the brain/brain damage (im certainly no medic so any information/links is greatly appreciated). However talking with someone recently I was informed a shunt can go into the heart?
I also read about the shunt in the heads that at times they have to be changed/refitted or they simply break is this true?
my questions are thus.

a) what use/reason would a shunt go into the heart?
B where does it link to and from and what does it do?
c)can a heart shunt break/fall apart etc and if so can it be replaced in the heart without ..killing the patient?
d) what effects in a day to day life would the patient have with a "Heart shunt?" fitted...i know everyones diffarent but im guessing some things would be the same. I figure no contact sports for starters and nothing too dangerous (sky diving being out etc).

I am also a little concerned if a shunts used to drain fluid from the brain to another area of the body a) where does the fluid go and can it recirculate or will it stick in one area like "Lymphadoema" and block parts of the body (fat legs / elphantisis etc)
also - a heart shunt...if its used to drain from the brain to the heart - that just doesnt sound safe to me.
again - im no medic i really have no idea what im looking for online my best resource so far has been you guys/and the people who privately responded to my messages.
I have had a couple of people concerned a) im genuine and 11) weather i have some fetish for wheelchair users.
in answer to those questions a) im genuine - my friends paraplegic 11) i didnt even "know" there was a fetish for wheelchair users until i read the terms and conditions of this site!
thanks for input.
Gary

Edited by garysmiling, 06 December 2008 - 10:34 AM.


#2 Slowlegs

Slowlegs

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 10:53 AM

As the title says..
Why would someone have a shunt put into their heart...I read online that a shunt goes into one of three places in the head to drain fluid from the brain. So as not to incur water on the brain/brain damage (im certainly no medic so any information/links is greatly appreciated). However talking with someone recently I was informed a shunt can go into the heart?
I also read about the shunt in the heads that at times they have to be changed/refitted or they simply break is this true?
my questions are thus.

a) what use/reason would a shunt go into the heart?
B where does it link to and from and what does it do?
c)can a heart shunt break/fall apart etc and if so can it be replaced in the heart without ..killing the patient?
d) what effects in a day to day life would the patient have with a "Heart shunt?" fitted...i know everyones diffarent but im guessing some things would be the same. I figure no contact sports for starters and nothing too dangerous (sky diving being out etc).

I am also a little concerned if a shunts used to drain fluid from the brain to another area of the body a) where does the fluid go and can it recirculate or will it stick in one area like "Lymphadoema" and block parts of the body (fat legs / elphantisis etc)
also - a heart shunt...if its used to drain from the brain to the heart - that just doesnt sound safe to me.
again - im no medic i really have no idea what im looking for online my best resource so far has been you guys/and the people who privately responded to my messages.
I have had a couple of people concerned a) im genuine and 11) weather i have some fetish for wheelchair users.
in answer to those questions a) im genuine - my friends paraplegic 11) i didnt even "know" there was a fetish for wheelchair users until i read the terms and conditions of this site!
thanks for input.


Gary


Hi, are you thinking of a stent? A stent opens up clogged areas of arteries to increase blood flow. Best thing you can do is search Google (type in "heart shunt surgery") or talk to your friend about it. Please see some info below on common heart problems I found in about two minutes...

Definition

A variety of surgical procedures that are performed to repair the many types of heart defects that may be present at birth.

Purpose

Heart surgery for congenital defects is performed to repair a defect as much as possible and improve the flow of blood and oxygen to the body. While congenital heart defects vary in their severity, most require surgery. Surgery is recommended for congenital heart defects that result in a lack of oxygen, a poor quality of life, or a patient who does not thrive. Some types of congenital heart defects that don't cause symptoms are treated surgically because they can lead to serious complications.

Precautions

There are many types of surgery for congenital heart defects and many considerations in the decision to operate. The patient's cardiologist or surgeon will discuss these issues on an individual basis.

Description

There are many types of congenital heart defects. Most obstruct the flow of blood in the heart, or the vessels near it, or cause an abnormal flow of blood through the heart. Rarer types include newborns born with one ventricle, one side of the heart that is not completely formed, or the pulmonary artery and the aorta coming out of the same ventricle. Most congenital heart defects require surgery during infancy or childhood. Recommended ages for surgery for the most common congenital heart defects are:


atrial septal defects: during the preschool years


patent ductus arteriosus: between ages one and two


coarctation of the aorta: in infancy, if it's symptomatic, at age four otherwise


tetralogy of Fallot: age varies, depending on the patient's signs and symptoms


transposition of the great arteries: often in the first weeks after birth, but before the patient is 12 months old

Surgical procedures seek to repair the defect as much as possible and restore circulation to as close to normal as possible. Sometimes, multiple, serial, surgical procedures are necessary. Smaller congenital heart defects can now be repaired in a cardiac catheterization lab instead of an operating room. Catheterization procedures include balloon atrial septostomy and balloon valvuloplasty. Surgical procedures include arterial switch, Damus-Kaye-Stansel procedure, Fontan procedure, Ross procedure, shunt procedure, and venous switch or intra-atrial baffle.

Catheterization procedures

Balloon atrial septostomy and balloon valvuloplasty are cardiac catheterization procedures. Cardiac catheterization procedures can save the lives of critically ill neonates and in some cases eliminate or delay more invasive surgical procedures. It is expected that catheterization procedures will continue to replace more types of surgery for congenital heart defects in the future. A thin tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery or vein in the leg, groin, or arm and threaded into the area of the heart which needs repair. The patient receives a local anesthetic at the insertion site and is awake but sedated during the procedure.

BALLOON ATRIAL SEPTOSTOMY

Balloon atrial septostomy is the standard procedure for correcting transposition of the great arteries; it is sometimes used in patients with mitral, pulmonary, or tricupsid atresia (atresia is a defect that causes the blood to carry too little oxygen to the body). Balloon atrial septostomy enlarges the atrial opening. A special balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the right atrium and inflated to create a large opening in the atrial septum.

BALLOON VALVULOPLASTY

Balloon valvuloplasty uses a balloon-tipped catheter to open a narrowed heart valve, improving the flow of blood. It is the procedure of choice in pulmonary stenosis and is sometimes used in aortic stenosis. Balloons made of plastic polymers are placed at the end of the catheter and inflated to relieve the obstruction in the heart valve. Long-terms results are excellent in most cases. The operative death rate is 2-4%.

Surgical procedures

These procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Some require the use of a heart-lung machine, which cools the body to reduce the need for oxygen and takes over for the heart and lungs during the procedure.

ARTERIAL SWITCH

Arterial switch is performed to correct transposition of the great arteries, where the position of the pulmonary artery and the aorta are reversed. The procedure involves connecting the aorta to the left ventricle and the pulmonary artery to the right ventricle.

DAMUS-KAYE-STANSEL PROCEDURE

Transposition of the great arteries can also be corrected by the Damus-Kaye-Stansel procedure, in which the pulmonary artery is cut in two and connected to the ascending aorta and right ventricle.

FONTAN PROCEDURE

For tricuspid atresia and pulmonary atresia, the Fontan procedure connects the right atrium to the pulmonary artery directly or with a conduit, and the atrial defect is closed. Survival is over 90%.

PULMONARY ARTERY BANDING

Pulmonary artery banding is narrowing the pulmonary artery with a band to reduce blood flow and pressure in the lungs. It is used for ventricular septal defect, atrioventricular canal defect, and tricuspid atresia. Later, the band can be removed and the defect corrected with open heart surgery.

ROSS PROCEDURE

To correct aortic stenosis, the Ross procedure grafts the pulmonary artery to the aorta.

SHUNT PROCEDURE

For Tetralogy of Fallot, tricuspid atresia, or pulmonary atresia, the shunt procedure creates a passage between blood vessels, sending blood into parts of the body that need it.


VENOUS SWITCH

For transposition of the great arteries, venous switch creates a tunnel inside the atria to re-direct oxygen-rich blood to the right ventricle and aorta and venous blood to the left ventricle and pulmonary artery.

OTHER TYPES OF SURGERY

These surgical procedures are also used to treat common congenital heart defects. A medium to large ventricular or atrial septal defect can be closed by suturing it or covering it with a Dacron patch. For patent ductus arteriosus, surgery consists of dividing the ductus into two and tying off the ends. If performed within the patient's first few years, there is practically no risk associated with this operation. Surgery for coarctation of the aorta involves opening the chest wall, removing the defect, and reconnecting the ends of the aorta. If the defect is too long to be reconnected, a Dacron graft is used to replace the missing piece. In uncomplicated cases, the risk of the operation is 1-2%.

Preparation

Before surgery for congenital heart defects, the patient will receive a complete evaluation, which includes a physical exam, a detailed family history, a chest x ray, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and usually cardiac catheterization. For six to eight hours before the surgery, the patient cannot eat or drink anything. An electrocardiogram shows the heart's activity and may reveal a lack of oxygen. Electrodes covered with conducting jelly are placed on the patient's chest, arms, and legs and the heart's impulses are traced on paper. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create an image of the heart's chambers and valves. Gel is applied to a hand-held transducer and then pressed against the patient's chest. Cardiac catheterization is an invasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the heart in which a long tube is inserted into a blood vessel and guided into the heart. A contrast solution is injected to make the heart visible on x rays.

Aftercare

After heart surgery for congenital defects, the patient goes to an intensive care ward where he or she is connected to a variety of tubes and monitors, including a ventilator. Patients are monitored every 15 minutes until vital signs are stable. Heart sounds, oxygenation, and the electrocardiogram are monitored. Chest tubes will be checked to ensure that they're draining properly and there is no hemorrhage. Pain medications will be administered. Complications such as stroke, lung blood clots, and reduced blood flow to the kidneys will be watched for. After the ventilator and breathing tube are removed, chest physical therapy and exercises to improve circulation will be started.

Risks

Complications from heart surgery for congenital defects can be severe. They include shock, congestive heart failure, lack of oxygen or too much carbon dioxide in the blood, irregular heartbeat, stroke, infection, kidney damage, lung blood clot, low blood pressure, hemorrhage, cardiac arrest, and death.

Key Terms


Atresia
A congenital defect in which the blood pumped through the body has too little oxygen. In tricuspid atresia, the baby lacks a triscupid valve. In pulmonary atresia, a pulmonary valve is missing.


Coarctation of the aorta
A congenital defect in which severe narrowing or constriction of the aorta obstructs the flow of blood.


Congenital heart defects
Congenital means conditions which are present at birth. Congenital heart disease includes a variety of defects that babies are born with.


Patent ductus arteriosus
A congenital defect in which the temporary blood vessel connecting the left pulmonary artery to the aorta in the fetus doesn't close in the newborn.


Septal defects
These are holes in the septum, the muscle wall separating the right and left sides of the heart. Atrial septal defects are openings between the two upper heart chambers and ventricular septal defects are openings between the two lower heart chambers.


Stenosis
A narrowing of the heart's valves. This congenital defect can occur in the pulmonary (lung) or aortic (the main heart artery) valve.


Tetralogy of Fallot
A cyanotic defect in which the blood pumped through the body has too little oxygen. Tetralogy of Fallot includes four defects: a large hole between the ventricles, narrowing at or beneath the pulmonary valve, an overly muscular right ventricle, and an aorta over the large hole.


Transposition of the great arteries
A cyanotic defect in which the blood pumped through the body has too little oxygen. The pulmonary artery and the aorta are reversed.
For Your Information

Resources

Organizations



American Heart Association. 7320 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75231. (214) 373-6300.


Children's Health Information Network. 1561 Clark Drive, Yardley, PA 19067. (215) 493-3068.


Congenital Heart Anomalies Support, Education & Resources, Inc. 2112 North Wilkins Road, Swanton, OH 43558. (419) 825-5575.


Texas Heart Institute. Heart Information Service. PO Box 20345, Houston, TX 77225-0345.

#3 Nickleblue

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:06 AM

wow alot of information there slowlegs thanks.
I have read through it all and will search the internet as recommended for more.
I think im going to have a long search ahead of me - my best bet is to ask the friend myself which isnt easy at the mo. - but i guess it beats snooping around online jumping to wrong conclusions. (she knows im using this site really :-p)
Thanks for the reply - if anyone else has any insights - or if you find any more "relivent" info to why a person would have a shunt in the heart id really appreciate it.
Thanks
Gary

#4 Nickleblue

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 03:54 PM

ok got the info i needed-thanks. Not sure how the whole thing works but apparently the shunt goes into the neck then into the heart draining the access fluid. apparently it can break/get damaged and its a "Big" operation sometimes fatal *gulp!*
but its doing its job and least i know whats what - not sure if it helped me knowing or not! its not like theres anything i can do with/about it-feeling kinda useless to be honest. She's an independant intelligent lass whos been "taking care of herself" so to speak for 38 yrs, then I come along and want to know the ins and outs of a ducks (you get the idea).
apparently the access fluid does not get stuck or go into the legs but gets pumped elsewhere eventually turning into waste.
Learn something new everyday.
Gary


Spinal Cord Injury & Cauda Equina Syndrome Support

This website is a way for those with spinal cord injuries and cauda equina syndrome to share experiences and advice. Any medical matters, treatments or alternative therapies discussed on this website should be thoroughly reviewed by a medical professional or therapist before being acted upon. Under no circumstances should you alter prescribed medication or a medical care plan without consulting your doctor or care plan supervisor first.