Last week, during a routine prenatal ultrasound, a possible dextocardia(heart on right, stomach on left) was observed. I was told to return for another ultrasound at the 32nd week.
My husband and I serve with a mission in Mali, a developing, French-speaking country in W. Africa. The national doctor performing the ultrasound wrote: (translated as best I can into English) Heart:4 symmetrical cavities(chambers?), septum intact, depart(outflow?)of large vessels normal, auricular?-ventricle valves viewed, aorta at 6.2mm and pulmonary artery at 7.5 mm. Diaphragm present. Fetal morphology: Normal for term, aside from presence of dextrocardia. Our family has no known history of Congenital Heart Defects or anomalies.
If our baby girl does indeed have dextrocardia (w/out lat. reversal of other organs in chest and abdomen), it seems there is a high probability she may be born with Kartegners Syndrome or another syndrome that may require intensive neonatal care.
Knowing neonatal intensive care and pediatric cardiology do not yet exist here, we are returning to the States for her birth. We plan to return five weeks before the due date, 2/22/05, but would return sooner if there were any possible advantages.
If we were already back in the U.S, is there anything more we could do now or later? What specific diagnostic tests should we know about? Assuming a worst-case scenario, what procedures or surgeries are available for a newborn with complications from dextrocardia?
Thank you so much for your consideration.
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