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Left atrial enlargement
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Left atrial enlargement

So I went to my doctor on Monday to get the results of my blood work and to have a full physical. I was supposed to go in for surgery tomorrow to have my wisdom teeth removed, and since I have never been put to sleep I wanted to have a physical first (The last one was over 10 years ago). Needless to say all my blood work came back normal, but when she listened to my heartbeat she said she heard a slight murmor and ordered an EKG. The nurse came in and did it and the doctor came back in and told me that I have hyper (something) and that I need to go have an ultrasound done of my heart. Completely in shock I didn't really even ask any questions as I was not expecting this at all. The nurse came in a few minutes later saying that she had me an appt. for Thursday at the hospital to have this done. I asked her what was wrong again and she said a left atrial enlargement. I have no idea exactly what that is or what causes it. A lot of sites say high blood pressure but I have never had HBP my entire life. It was just 110 over 70 the last time I checked it at Wal-mart and even 2 years ago when I was pregnant my blood pressure was always great.

So I would like to know what causes this and if it is serious or not. I called my oral surgeon and he pushed my surgery back to next week, but should I cancel it altogether? I am 29 years old, (have never had a murmor before) I have also lost 43 lbs in the past 4 months as I have been eating healthy and working out regularly. I guess I just need to know the severity of this. Currently I am a stay at home mom, have 2 kids, and I am going to school fulltime to get my early childhood education degree. Obviously if this is something serious I need to know so I can plan around this.

Causes... Treatment... Should I be worried?

Thanks in advance!
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367994_tn?1304957193
Starting with the murmur.  There can be congenital anomolies.  Such as the interior walls of the heart, the valves inside the heart, or the arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart or out to the body.

Then there are Innocent heart murmurs and are sounds heard when blood flows through a normal heart. These murmurs may occur when blood flows faster than normal through the heart and its attached blood vessels. Illnesses or conditions that may cause this to happen include fever, anemia, and hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone in the body).

The murmur called for an EKG test.  An EKG is not very sensitive for any heart condtion such heart size, valve insufficiency, etc.  Good for a rhythm problem, but you don't appear to have that condition.

An echocardiogram is appropriate examination for heart valve defects and septal defects (also called holes in the heart) are common heart defects that cause abnormal heart murmurs. Valve defects may include narrow valves that limit blood flow or leaky valves that don’t close properly. This condition could cause an increase in the size of chambers (atria and venicles).

A murmur could indicate septal defects and are holes in the wall that separates the right and left sides of the heart. This wall is called the septum.  A hole in the septum between the heart’s two upper chambers is called an atrial septal defect.  A hole in the septum between the heart’s two lower chambers is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). ASDs and VSDs account for more than half of all abnormal heart murmurs in children. I have listed possibilities and assuming you may not have had previous problems or symptoms and no previous physicals to rule out.  

The probability is high that the murmur is innocent, but if you haven't had a physical to rule out heart problems, the doctor wants some verification.  If there is an enlarged atrium, it can be successfully treated.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your response. Everything sounds scary that you said but your bottom line says successfully treated so I will go with that. :)

I am going to try and get a copy of the report tomorrow. I think it usually takes awhile but I am supposed to have surgery on Tuesday now and I would like to know if there are greater risks if I have a heart problem.

Is there anything I can do on my own to correct this? Assuming its not a valve issue? Or something that I did to cause this? I have always felt like I was in very good health as I am never sick, (had a cold once in the past 2 years) which is why I never go to the doctor... In any case, thanks again for your response. It has been overwhelming what I have found online and a lot of it has been different.

-Ashley
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367994_tn?1304957193
Interesed to hear the results if your echo.  Based on your age (not definitive, but significant) and murmurs are often innocent. Take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
As soon as I get my results I will definitely post them. All I found out today was that I definitely have a murmur and an enlargement. I have to wait for a cardiologist to review them and send the results to my doctor. On a bright note, it can't be that bad as they let me leave the hospital. :)

I also went to Health Services today and spoke with a doctor there and he said that due to my recent pregnancy and weight that I had been carrying that could have amplified the murmur. I was also told that I could have had it for a few years but due to my weight it would have been hard to hear as it is just barely there. He also wants the results of the eco. He did say I am on the right track though. As of January I have lost 43 lbs, and as of the past 10 weeks alone I have lost 30.4 lbs and 7.7 % body fat so that will also help me.

Thanks again for all of your help. I will keep you posted. :)
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367994_tn?1304957193
Yes, indeed.  Researching my files the subject of  pregnancy as a factor for a murmur is valid, I should have included it...
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