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Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31197
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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My two year old grandson was diagnosed with a PFO. He was

Customer Question

Hi my two year old grandson was diagnosed with a PFO. He was discharged at 9 months and no further treatment needed. He is totally healthy apart from 3/4 times his lips have turned blue.just his lips. Twice after swimming and once eating. Once at home. He does not get out of breath or in discomfort. Why is this? Gp has referred for another heart scan. Can PFO turn to other heart problems? Would any major problems be picked up at previous heart scan? Can PFO get bigger or worsen ? So worried
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi and sorry for the delay. Just to be clear here--when his lips turn blue there are no other symptoms--no shorness of breath, balance problems, etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No he remains very happy and normal, just eating his dinner, chatting away.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

I fully understand your concern.

The vast majority of PFO's need no treatment whatsoever and usuall close spontaneously. I would have to say that his blue lips may be from the PFO but really the only way to be sure would be to have an oximeter on his finger at the time to see if his arterial oxygen leve were low, and since he otherwise seems fine then really I don't think oxygenation is a problem for him.

I agree with another scan but PFO's don't enlarge and don't cause other heart problems so he doesn't need surgery

Let me know if you need any more information

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thankyou for your reply.
So would you say if he had other heart problems they would have shown up in his previous scan? Can heart problems develop since then? The gp did test his oxygen, but it was about 5 hours after the episode. If he did have heart problems wouldn't there be other signs? He's putting on weight and growing normally. A local has just had a two year old die in his sleep from an unknown heart defect. My daughter us 6 months pregnant with her 2nd child and is in a state of panic about this.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Yes, the previous scan would have show any other heart defect or problem and most often a PFO is the only defect ever seen.

And yes, since he's otherwise fine with no shorness of breath, dizziness, balance problems, etc there really isn't anything else to worry about here.

And please don't think that the other case has anything to do with your grandson's PFO.

Dr. Chip and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry to keep on! But what else could cause this blue lip thing? When I google it all I find is heart problems? I would understand if he was unwell but he's so active and happy and generally very well. He has had three chest infections during a space of two months during the later half of last year/ new year. Surely it has to be caused by something? Although on the Netmums website mums are saying their little ones have had it but they font know why. Can/does it happen for no apparent reason?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
No problem. Are the lips truly blue and how long does that last?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not long after he was on the indoor pool, and after he was eating if say it lasted for about ten minutes. The centre of his bot***** *****p was quite blue and lighter blue on the rest. Like he had eaten a blueberry or something. He had eaten tomatoes, satsuma, kiwi and grapes, with a strawberry yoghurt.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK. I really don't think this is cyanosis from a low oxygen content in his arterial blood. If it were, he should have been short of breath and weak. It may have been a temporary allergic reaction but nothing about what you tell me indicates it was from his PFO
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you very much, you have reassured me a lot ūüėä
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Let me know how he does
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes will do. Unfortunately the appointment isn't until August 1st. Hence using this web site. : )
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
I think he's just fine