Peeper had her (almost) one-year post-op check-up with the cardiologist today, and it went great!
He said that, “She sounds great. If I were listening with my eyes closed (not seeing her surgical scar) I wouldn’t know she’d ever had a problem. It just doesn’t get much more perfect than that.”
We fully expected that everything would be fine – after all, she’s had three well-baby checks and a few not-so-well-baby appointments since her last visit with him, and the pediatricians have always said she sounds great – but, again, it was very nice to hear it officially from the expert.
They did an echocardiogram, and was great too – her heart function is good, her valves look good, and there’s no sign of any scar tissue building up where the repairs were made.
We’ll go back in a year, and assuming all is well, I think a year after that and then every two years for a while.
He said that very rarely the scar tissue can cause issues down the road (in adulthood) so she will need to be followed by a cardiologist every few years for her entire life, but that she really is not at any increased risk for cardiac issues, even as an adult, even in old age.
He also said that she can play contact sports if she wants. Somewhere along the line, I thought I had read that it’s not recommended after having the sternum cut open, but he said that it’s no problem. Maybe it depends on how old the kid is at the time of the surgery?
That’s probably not as big an issue for a petite girl like Peeper as it might be for a big ol’ boy, but you never know. I played a lot of full-contact, no-pads, “sandlot” (neighbor’s front yard) football as a kid, and Shrike took judo when she was in high school.
Of course, we’re thrilled about what the cardiologist had to say, and we were also very happy with how Peeper handled the echo.
We took some books and toys, but didn’t even get them out of the bag. The tech put on a DVD of The Wiggles (Wow. The Wiggles are weird.) but she didn’t pay a lot of attention to that.
We started out with me laying on the table next to her, and didn’t get very far before I figured I’d better pull out the big guns, so to speak, because she was trying to unhook the EKG leads and grab the ultrasound transducer out of the tech’s hand.
So, she nursed through most of the exam, and other than “helping” a bit, and seriously protesting during the part where she was pressing into her tummy, to see her aorta, she pretty much just concentrated on her goody and let the tech do her job.
And in the last few minutes, she actually dozed off, and slept through the doctor coming back in to talk with us some more, me zipping up her jacket (We had her in pants and her open jacket for the echo, so she wouldn’t be cold; didn’t bother re-dressing her properly to come home.) and then awkwardly climbing down from the table, with her still latched!