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How can one be sure that the previous surgery was successful?

Q: I have a 27 years old sister. She was diagnosed as suffering from VSD problem and had a 2mm hole in the heart. She underwent a surgery to rectify this, about 4 years back. Is it possible to find out the nature of this surgery now? And is there a way to find if it was successful?

A:Your query is quite vague and therefore I will try to answer what I have understood of your question. In an X-ray, one can not see the hole in the heart directly but can see some of the consequences of the hole in the heart like increased blood supply to the lungs and so forth. For knowing the problem in the heart, 2D Echocardiography is an excellent test and one should be able to find out most information that one is looking for through a 2D Echocardiography. If there was a hole in the heart and it was operated then usually it is a patch closure of the VSD and one should be able to see the patch on 2D Echocardiography. In any case, if the VSD is closed, it doesn't matter what technique the surgeon has used and therefore, you should not be interested in knowing what kind of surgery has been performed as long as the hole is closed. I think, the easier way would be to contact your surgeon who can answer your queries more definitively, as also you can ask him for a copy of your operation notes, which I am sure, the surgeon will be only too delighted to provide you.

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