“Will Situs Inversus Impact My Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?” Asks Dave

I just received a unique question from Dave about situs inversus and heart valve replacement.

Dave writes, “Hi Adam, I was recently diagnosed with severe aortic regurgitation and a dilated aorta. It’s now time for a valve replacement. I was born with situs inversus with dextrocardia – a rare condition in which my abdominal organs are reversed so my heart is located in the right side of my chest. I’m wondering if any of your readers have situs inversus? I would like to hear their experiences with valve replacement surgery. Thanks for your book! Dave”

Situs Inversus And Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

This is the first time I heard about situs inversus with dextrocardia. That said, I really wanted to help Dave and learn more about this condition. I wasted no time in contacting two, surgical experts for their opinions.

I reached out to Dr. Randolph Chitwood, M.D. and Dr. Marc Gillinov, M.D. for their opinions specific to Dave’s question about heart valve replacement and situs inversus with dextrocardia. Here are their responses:

This should not be a big problem. The aorta is just on the other side of the chest. However, I would need to see Dave’s studies, CT and echocardiogram to render a better opinion. — Dr. Randolph Chitwood, M.D., East Carolina Heart Institute

As long as the dextrocardia is not associated with an entire syndrome of abnormalities, including problems with the spleen, liver and other organs, the operation is very straightforward and the same as any aortic valve replacement operation. — Dr. Marc Gillinov, M.D., The Cleveland Clinic

Given the responses from Dr. Chitwood and Dr. Gillinov, it sounds like Dave’s rare condition should not pose a challenge to a good surgical result. If you have any experience with situs inversus and heart valve surgery, please leave a comment for Dave by clicking here.

Thanks to Dave for his question. And, thanks to Dr. Chitwood and Dr. Gillinov for their thoughts!

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Martin

    I have dextrocardia situs inversus. All of my organs are where they should be except for my heart! My heart is on the right side of my chest and flipped over!

  • lisa aldridge

    i am 20wks pregnant and have just been told my baby has dextracardia i am not very well informed at the moment and am in a bit of shock so would appreciate any information and experiences if possible i am waiting to see the cardiologist on wed

  • Monte Carlo

    I have also a dextrocardia.. im 26 yrs old and my heart is in the right of my chest..

  • teiana

    – I was born with dextrocardia insidus inversus and im 14 years old .

  • ben

    hi, i was diagnosed with dextrocardia / citus in versus when i was 40 . my heart and all my internal organs are backwards and also the front of my heart is facing my back. fliped over. i am 50 now .
    i have been to doctors and hospitals many times through out my life , and nobody noticed it untill i had to have an upper gi ex-ray. doctors noticed it when i was forty and i had it since birth .only problems i have had is sinus problems . stuffed up all the time. they tell me i will live a full life .

  • Dale

    I also have dextrocardia situs inversus. I found this article interesting, because I don’t really know anything about it, or what to say when people ask questions.

  • Jaya

    I also have dextrocardiac situs inversus. I am 40yrs old mother of three and in good health. I’m an RN but don’t see very many patients with this condition.

  • belle tampus

    Hi! i came from Philippines, I am 36 years old mother of two. I also have Dextrocardia with situs inversus and in good health. The abnormalities of my heart did not affect me so i have live a full life. The problem of mine was what had happen to my youngest child; i have a nine months old son who has CHD diagnosed Tricuspid Valve Atresia Type 1C and needs surgery.Since i can’t afford for the cost of the surgery, i am now looking for a sponsor to his medical assistance. Can you recommend me to a foundation or individuals for my dilemma? do my condition affects genetically to my child? the reason he has CHD now?

    Thank you and i hope to hear from you soon. I appreciate for any help extended to us and answering my question.


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