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Making broken hearts whole againInnovative heart procedure fixes hole in the heart
A hole between the heart’s upper chambers is one of the most common types of congenital heart defects, Dr. Reddy said. Many patients reach adulthood before the condition is discovered. When it’s diagnosed, it’s usually because the patient experiences a medical crisis. Strokes, heart enlargement and heart failure can result from leaving the hole open.
After doing a thorough history and physical examination, doctors ordered a transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)—an ultrasound test that is completed by guiding an endoscope down the patient’s esophagus to view the heart’s valves and chambers—which confirmed his suspicion that Zeeb had a hole in her heart chamber.
Zeeb thanks the doctors and staff at Sanford Health for listening to her concerns and ultimately discovering the hole. "I’d heard a lot of good things about Dr. Reddy, too, so I was glad I could stay in Bismarck and get this fixed.”Dr. Reddy examined Zeeb’s heart hole using a camera attached to a long, flexible tube called a catheter, which was gently threaded into Zeeb’s heart through a blood vessel. Using a similar process, Dr. Reddy placed the catheter with a wire mesh patch attached to it over the hole and repaired the hole by sealing it with the quarter-sized patch.
“During the procedure, I was awake the whole time and watched it on the screen,” Zeeb said. “I could talk to Dr. Reddy and tell him how I was feeling. It was pretty interesting. I had no pain, and I was pretty comfortable the whole time. The technology is unbelievable now.”
Zeeb is grateful to Sanford Health and the cardiology team—whose expertise contributed to finding and correcting her heart problem. She offers this advice to others: “If you’re young and have a stroke, I’d encourage you to ask the doctor to do a TEE test right away.”
Click here for more information on Sanford Health cardiology or call (701) 323-5202.