For those of you who don't know, Eli has an ASD, which is a hole in the upper chambers of his heart. He was diagnosed with this when he was just two weeks old. At that time we were sent to a pediatric cardiologist and were told that most of the time these things heal themselves and they would just check it again when he was a year old. Well, we went back when he was one and were told that it was not healing itself and had actually gotten a little bigger and that they would need to fix it but not until he was about three. So for the next two years we went back once each year to have it checked. He had no side effects from it, which is common at his age, but if not fixed it would cause problems when he was older. Then last year he turned three and the cardiologist told us they could do the procedure the following spring or summer. We opted for summer and scheduled it for June, which worked out great because our move brought us four hours closer to his cardiologist.
So, in June he had a procedure during which he was sedated and a device was placed over the hole in his heart. He did not have to have open heart surgery, but instead they were able to go in through a vein in his groin and use a camera to place the device. He was so brave during the whole ordeal! Everything went well and he healed well also. This is usually an outpatient procedure, where the patient is sent home later the same day. However in Eli's case they did keep him one night, simply because the hole was larger then they had anticipated and therefore a larger device was used so they wanted to monitor him for a little while longer afterwards. I was able to stay over night with him and he was released the following morning.
We were told that it will take about six months for his heart tissue to grow around the device and completely seal it, so until then he has to take one baby aspirin everyday to keep blood clots from forming. We bought flavored chewable aspirin so he has not had any trouble taking it. He had a follow-up appointment a month after the procedure and everything looked great. He will have another one in January and will hopefully be told he no longer needs to take the aspirin. After that he will only need to be seen once every three to five years just to make sure everything is still ok.