My poor baby’s going to have to undergo a surgical procedure to correct a problem with her pulmonary valve. The condition is known as pulmonary stenosis, which means narrowing of the pulmonary valve. Following is a medical description we found:
Normally the pulmonary valve opens to let low oxygen blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs where the blood is oxygenated. Because of the narrowing the right ventricle has to pump harder to get past the stenotic valve. This can sometimes lead to enlargement of the right ventricle. Depending on the severity of the pulmonary stenosis, open heart surgery may be indicated to correct the defect (THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE FOR OUR BABY). Another option may be a balloon valvuloplasty. This procedure is done in the cardiac catheterization lab.
Our baby, who is 31/2 months and over 10 pounds, will receive the procedure performed with a catheter. The catheter will enter at the top of her thigh, and the doctor will be able to see what he’s doing through a tiny camera. They will open up her pulmonary valve this way so that she doesn’t suffer from heart problems. In the long run, she will be much healthier for it. In the short term, the surgery will cause only an inconvenience and some discomfort, so we’re told.
But I’m quite scared. The surgery is scheduled for Feb. 26. I’m not a religious man, so I don’t pray. I just worry and enjoy her every second I get a chance. Boy, parenthood can be scary. It’s a portal to a whole new level of emotions. Truthfully, I had no idea how emotional it would be. Damn.