Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return belongs to the category of an uncommon congenital heart defect. Abbreviated as PAPVR, it takes place whenever the pulmonary veins cannot form normally at the time when the baby remains in its mother’s womb.(1)
In the case of PAPVR patient, pulmonary veins of his or her heart fail to drain blood towards the left atrium instead of draining to the right atrium. The problem causes flow back of blood rich in oxygen towards the lungs instead of reaching to other body parts.(2)
Research studies have even found PAH prevalence in PAPVR patients and other related to congenital heart problems, including the problem of ASD.(3)
Is There A Surgery For PAPVR?
Yes, surgery is recommendable in the case of PAPVR to deal with the underlying severe symptoms. We know that the problem causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to the blood. Because of this, the affected baby may turn to bluish color and experience certain breathing problems. In some of the infants, symptoms of partial anomalous pulmonary venous return develop instantly.
On the other side, symptoms in the case of the less severe condition develop during the later months or years. However, regardless of the underlying symptoms, doctors recommend surgery in almost every case of PAPVR, as if the problem leaves untreated, it leads to death. Other than surgery, pediatric doctors and/or surgeons recommend a few of the additional treatments to stabilize the condition of an infant and to reduce its certain health risks. These include the following-
- Mechanical ventilation procedure
- Oxygen therapy
- ECMO i.e. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, which conducts the function of heart and lungs
The reason for this is that the affected infant or child may require supportive care via proper oxygen supply, extra medication, and proper ventilation care. Simultaneously, your baby may have to stop taking medications in advance. Moreover, the baby should not drink or eat anything after midnight before its surgery day.(4)
What Happens During A PAPVR Surgery?
General Anesthesia: Your pediatric surgeon will operate to repair PAPVR under general anesthesia. This means, your baby will remain asleep during the complete surgical procedure.
Vertical Incision: To start the procedure, your surgeon will make a vertical incision in the front part of your baby’s chest to open its breastbone and expose its heart.
Bypass Machine: Your doctor will use a bypass machine to redirect the blood from the patient’s heart. Here, the bypass machine performs the same types of functions, as the functions performed by the lungs and the heart during the complete surgical procedure.
Opening Of The Heart: Now, the pediatric surgeon will open your baby’s heart. Here, there are two different cases-
- Case 1- If The Baby Has ASD: If your baby suffers from ASD, the pediatric surgeon creates a patch to close the defect and simultaneously, redirects the flow of blood towards the left atrium from the anomalous pulmonary vein.
- Case 2- If The Baby Does Not Have ASD: The surgeon will simply redirect the flow of blood towards the left atrium from the anomalous pulmonary vein if the baby does not have an ASD problem.
Turning Off The Bypass Machine To Start The Heartbeat Again
Once your pediatric surgeon succeeds to repair the defects, he or she will shut down the bypass machine acting as your baby’s heart and lungs to start the heartbeat. Finally, the surgeon will close the chest and breastbone incisions, while he/she will apply bandages to the respective incision sites.(5)
Home Remedies For PAPVR
A patient of PAPVR has to undergo surgery to overcome his/her condition, as there is no home remedy or any alternative method to cure the problem completely. However, to manage the underlying condition and side effects of post-surgery, PAPVR patients have to follow certain remedies, which are similar to the ones recommendable to retain good heart health.
Garlic: Garlic releases a compound named allicin, which retains the flexibility of arteries and allows improved blood flow. It also reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels and inflammation, all of which further reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed contains Omega 3 fatty acids and hence, it reduces both inflammation and blood pressure. It also contains plant compounds rich in fiber i.e. lignans to reduce the level of cholesterol and plaque formation in the arteries.
Vitamin K2: Vitamin K2 has a close relationship with improved heart health and it is mainly present in varieties of green and leafy veggies. Vitamin K2 rich diet reduces the risk of death because of cardiac problems, especially the ones, who have heart defects by birth. Even the supplement prevents the deposition of calcium in your bloodstream, blood vessels, and the arteries.(6)
Based on the aforementioned points, we should say that surgery is essential to overcome the problem of partial anomalous pulmonary venous return. However, simultaneously, patients have to follow home remedies for their entire life to retain their overall good heart health.