Charlie's cardiology appointment was this afternoon. After his echo we met with Dr. Peterson to go over the results as well as discuss Charlie's progress in general.
His echo showed a few things of minor concern. First, the two valves between the atriums and his left ventricle are showing signs of leakage. This is most likely a result of the increased pressure in his atriums that the Norwood operation causes. However, we don't want his only functioning ventricle to be overwhelmed with too much blood flow.... (everything in cardiology seems to be a delicate balancing act) ...so we've started Charlie on a new medication that will help his heart beat stronger, but a little slower. Dr. Peterson is hopeful this will help resolve the issue.
Second, she noticed that Charlie's aorta shows some narrowing. This could be one of two things. Either the narrowing is just the difference from the portion of the aorta Dr. Huddleston enlarged and where the enlargement ended or Charlie's aorta is narrowing on it's own. Right now Dr. Peterson is leaning towards the first one and wants to keep a close eye on it over the next couple months. Charlie will have a cardiac cath around 4 months old so they can get a better, more detailed look at the area then. And if he shows any signs of distress or things look like they are getting worse - we'll simply schedule the cath sooner than later. They should be able to balloon open the aorta during the cath if needed.
On a brighter note, Charlie's blood pressure, heart rate and pulse ox looked great today. In fact, his pulse ox was 91 which is pretty much unheard of in Norwood babies... And because he's continuing to put on weight, we've been cleared to let him sleep longer during the night between feedings. So tonight we are not setting an alarm clock for every three hours! Plus, Dr. Peterson said if we had another week of weight gain that we could move to nursing at night and pumping/fortifying/bottle-feeding during the day! Praise God! That means mommy will be getting a lot more sleep at night!
So for now we've added a new medicine and we're continuing to spot check his oxygen levels. We go back to the pediatrician later this week and return to the cardiologist and the echo lab in three weeks. Please pray that this new medicine does the trick and that we don't find any additional narrowing of the aorta in our next echo. We're in no rush to head back into the world of anesthesia and heart procedures....