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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Situs Inversus....Heart complications?

 dixiemom8203 - Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:38 am

Hi I'm a 23 y/o female that just found out last year that I have situs inversus. It's a funny story though because I told my mom for years I could feel my heartbeat on the right side instead of the left....of course she never believed me because the doctors never told her any different. I do have a point to bringing this up, and I was curious if I could have heart complications in the future from this? Over the years I would experience (every now and then) a sharp pain in the right side of my chest, sometimes it would even take my breath away. Is this something I should be worried about and have checked on? Or is this normal? Thank you for reading my post....I also have a post in the gynocolgy section too. Thanks so much for your replies.
 dixiemom8203 - Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:43 am

Oh and for you that don't know what situs inversus is....It is a very rare disease in which your major organs are in a mirror image from the normal human heart is on the right side of my body instead of the left, my appendix is on the left instead of the right.
 dixiemom8203 - Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:00 am

Good morning everyone, I was wondering if anyone could answer my post? I know that Situs Inversus is very rare but I would be grateful to know what the risks of having it are. Thank you.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:35 am

User avatar Hi dixiemom8203,
You are correct in stating that situs inversus (totalis) is rare, and occurs in approximately 1 person out of 10,000. The incidence of congenital heart disease is 95% (almost always) in situs inversus with levocardia, which is even more rare, (where the apex of the heart points to the left side of the thorax). A much lower suspected percentage (approximately 5%) of congenital heart disease is identified in those that have the apex of the heart on the right side of the thorax (situs inversus totalis). There are also lung disorders which may be associated with this condition which presents with repeated respiratory infections because the cilia in the lungs have abnormal movement and when infections arise are treated accordingly. Of course a thorough physical exam including a cardiology evaluation would be advisable. Always inform those that are providing your healthcare that you are more unique and have this condition so proper assessment of any health conditions can be treated appropriately. I am actually surprised that this wasn't discovered in your childhood years.
Theresa Jones, RN
 dixiemom8203 - Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:13 am

Thank you so much for your reply, I greatly appreciate it.

I was wondering, since you brought up the lung issue; when I was in middle school and part of high school, I used to get out of breath fast and almost to wheezing point that I got light headed and had to sit down otherwise I felt as though I would pass out. Ok...both my parents have asthma, but somehow I never had it or at least it was never ruled out, and I was wondering if I could have at some point had a little asthma but because I wasn't ever treated for it and just kinda toughed it out when it happened that it went away on its own as I got older?

I was also wondering about the sharp pain in my chest that sometimes happens (even if I'm not doing anything that gets my heart racing) and often takes my breath away. Sometimes the pain radiates from the front of my chest through my back...

Once again thank you for your response.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:40 am

User avatar Hi dixiemom8203,
Your symptoms when you were younger could have been Asthma related in which some children do seem to sometimes out grow or symptoms are less apparent, but if you suffered from frequent respiratory infections I would be more inclined to consider it as a result of the Situs Inversus because the cilia in the lungs do not function normally. One of the functions of cilia and mucous membranes are to essentially trap particles and and get rid of them, which again doesn't function the same as in those without this condition because the cilia or hairlike structures are less mobile. As for the chest pain and heart racing, precisely why it would be advisable for you to have an evaluation by a cardiologist to identify if a cardiac disorder is present (just to assure that you are not in that approximate 5% group) especially considering the fact that your condition was not discovered until adulthood. I again advise a Cardiologist's evaluation. I hope you will consider posting an update when your time permits.
Theresa Jones, RN
 dixiemom8203 - Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:44 am

Thank you again...

One more question before I get any tests run and such...I am a single mom and on Medicaid, so my question is...can I request tests done that medicaid will cover?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:54 am

User avatar Hi dixiemom8203,
Generally speaking, if the physician states the tests are medically necessary due to sprecific symptoms there should not be any problem with coverage. The office can also check approval prior to testing to verify coverage. If you have any problem obtaining tests please make an addition to this post and I will attempt to research some additional resources through available agencies.
Theresa Jones, RN
 dixiemom8203 - Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:55 am

Thank you so much and I will be sure to keep you updated. Thank you and God bless.
 dixiemom8203 - Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:20 am

I told you that I would keep you updated if they decided tests needed to be run. Well Yesterday I went to the doctor and he listened to my heart beat and heard it had a murmur, I am scheduled for a preop (having a surgery done on my wrist-ganglion cyst removal) to have xrays and I'm not sure what else done. I didn't think to ask but I know it has something to do with situs inversus...Could you give me any idea what kinds of tests they may run on the 30th? Just so I have an idea? Thank you.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:44 am

User avatar Hi dixiemom8203,
Imaging studies for evaluation of the etiology of a heart murmur (even unrelated to Situs Inversus) may include, chest xray, EKG (electrocardiogram), echocardiogram, etc. A MRI may also be used for evaluation typically in regards to Situs Inversus. You may want to call your physician's office for specification of diagnostics so that you will be prepared on what to expect. Updates are appreciated :)
Theresa Jones, RN
 dixiemom8203 - Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:48 am

Thank you so much, you have been so helpful. I will give you furthur updates when I found out more. Thanks again.

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