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Pregnancy after surgery

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  • Pregnancy after surgery

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me about their experiences with pregnancy after surgery. I had Tetralogy of Fallot repair in 1990 and a pulmonary valve replacement last May. Does anyone have information about the risks involved with pregnancy?
    [B][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Stephanie[/FONT][/B]

    “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.”

  • #2
    I felt grateful that I had my babies very young while I was in blissful ignorance about my aortic aneurysm and bad aortic valve. (Most doctors could not seem to hear my heart murmer until I was in my mid-30s.)

    I think your immediate concerns would focus on the effect of any medications you take on a developing fetus. I know for sure that warfarin/coumadin is not considered safe for pregnancy.

    I used to be a childbirth and breastfeeding counselor and would be interested in seeing what responses you get to this question!

    Aortic Root replacement, Dec. 23, 2008, Johns Hopkins, Dr. Duke Cameron
    St. Jude mechanical valve with dacron tube for aneurysm.


    • #3
      That's going to be something to discuss with your doctor(s) who know(s) your specific medical condition.

      Since you have a pulmonary replacement, I presume it's tissue, so hopefully you are not on coumadin for any other issue.

      I recommend searching the site for references to pregnancy. If you have a mechanical valve, it's pretty much out of the question/life threatening.

      If you have tissue, then if your doctor says your heart can handle the strain, you may be able to go ahead with a baby.

      Of course, there's always surrogacy, right Nicki? Or adoption.
      MVR & maze & pacemaker-2006
      AVR & tricuspid repair w/ ring 8/11/2010
      home testing since 2006


      • #4
        it all depends on what type of valve you have. if you have a tissue valve depending on what medication you are on you would have to discuss it with your doctor about the side effects. when i was making my valve choice the cardiologist wanted to make sure that i wasn't thinking about having another child before he would put a mechanical valve in. if i had wanted another child he would have put a tissue valve in because you wouldn't need coumadin. and coumadin i was told has major side effects to the baby. thankfully i was not wanting anymore children so i got a mechanical valve hoping that i would be many years away from a re-operation.

        rheumatic heart disease
        mitral valve replaced 5/29/09 st. jude mini 27 mm mechanical valve by Dr. Mihaljevic Cleveland Clinic
        pacemaker put it on 6/3/09
        Home testing with coaguchek XS since 1/16/2010

        just happy to be alive!


        • #5
          Hi, I typed a much longer respnse but having computer issues and it disapeared so this will be much shorter, sorry. I'm guessing since you had a pulm replacement, you had a tissue valve so are not on coum which could cause problems with pregnancy. BUT since you have TOF and not just needed a valve replacemnt, you really would have to talk to your Cardiologist to see if your over all heart function could handle having a baby, since there are many degrees of TOF and this really is a case that only your specialist could give you an answer. Are you going to a cardiologist thAT specializes in Adults with CHD or at least your ped card and not a regular cardiologist who mainly treats adults not born with heart problems? Another group you might want to join is the forums at the adults with CHD org I believe is the link, I know there are quite a few members there with TOF, so you could proABLY GET AN IDEA WHAT THEY WERE TOLD (oops) BTW my son is 21 and was born with CHD similar to TOF and also has a pulm conduit, If you don't mind sharing where did you have your surgery in 90? Justin had one of his in 90 at CHOP (childrens philly)
          Mom to Justin 25 TGA,VSDs, pulmonary atresia/stenosis ect, post/Rastelli, 5 OHS, pacer in and out ... and surgery w/muscle flap for post op infection (sternal osteomyelitis with mediastinitis) [url][/url]


          • #6
            Thank you all so much for your responses! I have a tissue valve, so I'm not on any medication... just the occassional baby asprin. Lyn, both of my surgeries were done in Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. I'm still seeing a cardiologist there.
            [B][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Stephanie[/FONT][/B]

            “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.”


            • #7
              Hi Stephanie, my doctors told me it would "probably" be safe, but for me, "probably" isn't really certain enough. I guess I'm lucky having children has never been much of a priority for me, so making the decision not to push my luck wasn't an issue.

              I do know women with TOF who have successfully had children and pretty much all of them have been followed by a specialist OB/GYN and of course their cardiologist. Lyn's link to the ACHA board is correct and you will find a lot more women in your position there.

              Just bear in mind, however, that you will only hear the success stories. The women who have had TOF and not survived pregnancy/childbirth are not there to tell their stories, so please remember that when you are making this decision for yourself. I don't say that to be negative, but to put perspective into the situation. It can be very easy to forget the potential complications and seriousness when the only stories you hear are those with happy endings.

              Of course, you have to do what is right for YOU and I hope you have a qualified, supportive team to help guide you through the process.
              37y/o, born with Tetralogy of Fallot, Blalock-Taussig shunt @ 18 months, corrective surgery @ 5 years, PVR Dec '08 (37th birthday pressie!)
              Surgery blog:[url=""]My Brokendown Heart[/url]