Pulmonary stenosis

Pulmonary stenosis is a narrowing of the pulmonary valve in the heart. This causes the right ventricle to have to pump harder in order to get enough blood past the narrow blockage for the body to function. Without the pulmonary valve opening to its full potential, the blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs is severely impaired. Because the pulmonary valve isn’t functioning correctly, the pressure in the right ventricle, or pumping chamber, is much higher than normal. This means the heart has to work a lot harder in order to pump the blood into the arteries that run to the lungs. This can cause the heart to become overworked and can damage it.

Pulmonary stenosis is generally found early. In fact, it is usually detected at birth. In most cases, unfortunately, the cause of Pulmonary Stenosis is not known. It is a fairly common type of heart defect, and it can appear alongside other heart defects in children. While it is not usually deadly in children, it can result in cyanosis, or a blue coloring of the body. However, this generally only occurs when the Pulmonary Stenosis is severe. Once they get older, there are generally no symptoms that are apparent.

When it comes to treating pulmonary stenosis, there are only some improvements that can be madeā€”the valve can be treated so that there is less of an obstruction, but it cannot be made to work normally. When the pressure in the ventricle gets too high, even if no symptoms exist, treatment is often necessary. In most cases, treatment is done while the patient is still a child. The obstruction is opened up using a process called cardiac catheterization. A balloon valvuloplasty, which is a special type of catheter featuring a balloon, is placed in to the pulmonary valve. The balloon is inflated, which stretches the valve and opens it up more. In some cases, this is enough to open the valve. In other cases, more surgery is required.

The long-term prognosis following a balloon valvuloplasty is generally excellent, and even if surgery must be performed, generally there is no further threat to a child’s life. No further medication or surgery is usually needed. However, it is important that your child visits a pediatric cardiologist on a regular basis to make certain that there are no additional complications or problems. It is possible for the valve to become blocked again, although this does not happen often. If it does, follow up surgery or another application of the balloon catheter may be necessary.

One of the risks your child may face is that of endocarditis. The major thing to note here is that if your child has had to have a pulmonary valve replacement, he or she will need special antibodies before any specific dental procedures. You should discuss all necessary medications and precautions with both your child’s doctor and his or her dentist before any procedures just to make certain no special precautions need to be followed.

Just because a child has pulmonary stenosis does not mean he or she cannot participate in many different activities. If the obstruction is fairly small and not preventing a large amount of blood flow, then he or she may not need to take any special precautions or avoid any particular activities. However, if the blockage is more severe, some restrictions may apply. You should inform your child’s coach and his or her teachers of your child’s condition and make certain they know to make certain your child does not engage is specific activities. They should also know who to contact in case of an emergency related to pulmonary stenosis.

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Last updated on Feb 16th, 2010 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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