My 7 year son is recovering from open heart surgery. Two months ago he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as TAPVR (Total Anomoylous Pulmonary Venous Return). Basically, the vessels carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart were on the wrong side of the heart. The condition, as well as an atrial septum defect, were corrected with the surgery and he is doing well.
Coincidentally, my husband was just diagnosed today with a more minor congenital heart defect, bicuspid aortic valve. He will require regular cardiology check-ups and has to watch out for low blood pressure. He is 44 years old.
We had considered having a second child, but in light of my husband's diagnosis, I am muc more hesitant. Is there a genetic connection between my husband's and my son's heart conditions? There is no known heart trouble among young people on other side of our families. I am 41, and I worry that in addition to the genetic component, my age would increase the odds of having another child with congenital heart disease.
The risk of having a baby born with a CHD is 1 in every 100 births. As you can see, it is actually quite common. If you are concerned about the odds of this happening again, talk to your doctor about it and maybe he can put you in touch with a doctor who specializes in genetics. there are some forms of heart disease which are genetic in nature such as some of the elecrtrical problems with the heart as well as some of the cardiomyopathies.
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