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Right sided Aortic Arch
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Right sided Aortic Arch

My name is Andi whenever I get a chest xray I always am told that I have a right sided aortic
arch, I always say can you elaborate on that for me. This has become a sore subject for me
I really want to get this checked out but my mother says it doesn't cause any problems, Well
I beg to differ, I have asthma, I get chronic pneumonia. Those are just a few symptoms, I read
also that this type of thing should have been caught when I was first born, were the doctors
asleep. Should I waste my time in going to see a cardiologist, or is there a different doctor
that specializes in this type of thing, I grew up with Mixed connective tissue disease Lupus and
to top it off some other pain in the *** mental type things like major clinical depression.

If anyon cares to help I would be very grateful :)
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You should definitely get it checked out with those symptoms.  Right aortic arches are often signs of other vascular abnormalities.  However, I would recommend seeing an adult congenital heart specialists, as opposed to a general cardiologist or a pediatric cardiologist.  Many adult congenital heart specialists are often trained with pediatric doctors as well.  However, there could be any number of things that are causing your symptoms.  I have a friend who has had asthma for years, kept getting sick with pneumonia/bronchitis all the time.  None of her meds were helping treat the symptoms.  Then around 22yrs old, she was diagnosed with what is called a vascular ring.  A vascular ring, is where various arteries/veins that branch from the heart can create a ring around your esophagus or some major artery depending on where the ring is located.  In her case it was around the esophagus, and when she was active it would put pressure on the esophagus giving her asthma-like symptoms.

I have a right sided aortic arch as well (but no vascular ring that I'm aware of).  I have Truncus Arteriosus.  A right sided aortic arch is basically the aorta that comes off the top of your heart and instead of going to the left (like normal aortas do) it makes its loop to the right.

To find an adult congenital heart specialist go to achaheart.org and find the resource tab.  Go to the "For Patients" tab, then "Clinic Directory."  There is a list of doctors who specialize in treating the adults with congenital heart defects and are trained to identify them.  They often treat the general adult population as well for diseased hearts, so if you recommend one of the doctors in the resource directory, they should be able to identify if there is any further defects you might have.
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