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'slight heart defect' at 20 weeks. Anyone had experience of this?

(6 Posts)
petaluma Thu 04-Aug-11 20:27:50

My friend went for her 20 week scan and was told her baby has a 'slight heart defect' She is devastated. She has to go for more scans to find out more about the defect. I want to know how to best support her through this from any other mums who have had experience of this. Can anyone pass on their advice?

m1nn1em0u5e Fri 05-Aug-11 09:31:27

I had a suspected heart defect (hole) in the heart with my 2nd pregnancy. They told me 3 days before Christmas & had to go back 4 weeks later, when they still werent sure & I had to go back again at 28 weeks, when they said they thought everything was ok!..I had a few weeks of thinking 'what if' etc...but we were lucky & although at 20 weeks they thought he had a big hole in the heart, by 28 weeks they told us he was fine!..Good Luck to your friend x

Mum2be79 Fri 05-Aug-11 12:29:03

Most heart defects can be corrected by an operation these days. It's worrying, I know but with advances in modern medicine these days, it's almost becoming 'routine'. A relative's little girl had a heart defect back in the early 90's. You've got to look really hard to see the scar and she lives a normal, active and athletic lifestyle.

Watched a programme on sky last week and a baby born with half a heart (basically one chamber had not developed). Ten years ago babies with this would have definitely died (according to the programme) and now he's had one of a few operations and you wouldn't think he had anything wrong with his heart.

Telling her not to worry is pointless, she'll do it anyways. But the fact that they said 'slight' would suggest it's perfectly fixable.

melliebobs Fri 05-Aug-11 16:47:35

it depends on the extent and they wouldn't know without further tests. A family member went through this only 3-4 weeks ago. They discovered the chambers hadn't formed. Within a week she had had a second opinion, been referred to another hospital and had had all the relevant tests. In her case it was a 50/50 whether the pregnancy could continue or not and from the test results Unfortunatly it wasn't a happy ending, but i'm sure this is just an extreme case

petaluma Mon 08-Aug-11 22:43:10

Thank you all so much for your input. Thankfully, my friend returned from an appointment at gt Ormond St and things are much more positive - the chambers appear fully formed and the heart is beating normally. They will continue to monitor regularly but I'm so relieved for her.

Melliebobs, I'm sorry to hear about your friend

NLurkerispackingforholiday Mon 08-Aug-11 22:47:47

OP - one in a hundred babies is born with some sort of heart defect. Some are picked up in antenatal testing and some aren't. My dd2 has mild pulmonary stenosis - her pulmonary valve is narrower than it should be. This was detected at her 6 week check and she has been reviewed by paeds cardiologist at various intervals ever since. She is now 10 and has remained well. It sounds like the problem that your friend has is not a major structural one and the outlook is very good for that sort of thing. It will neverthless have come as a big shock and probably scared her very much. I was very upset by dd's diagnosis.

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