Below is a picture of my TEE when I found out my hole was going to require open heart surgery. If you imagine your heart lying on its side or tilt your head to the left you can see the heart. The bottom fish hook shape is my right atria. Where the tip of the fish hook ends abruptly is my hole. That tip should extend in behind the next 1/2 circle lines in the picture. That 1/2 circle is my aorta coming out of my left ventricle which is not in the picture. The color picture on the right shows the blue (non oxygenated blood) and red (oxygenated blood) mixing and crossing through the hole. There should not being any mixing here because there should be a wall to prevent it. It should be strictly blue on left (or bottom of picture) and bright red on the top of the picture where my left atria receives blood back from the lungs. Big Hole! It measured right at 3cm or around an inch across.
As you can guess this bottom picture is my hole after the patch was placed. Again you can see the 1/2 circle of my aorta on the right side. Now it has wall structure running all the way across to it's left on the picture. Remember they patched the hole with a piece of my pericardial sac. This is the tissue structure that holds the heart. Dr. Drinkwater said he stitched in a piece a little larger than a quarter to seal the hole. The donor sac area will regrow and close. It is very beneficial to use the patient's own tissue with this surgery. Now there is no worry with rejection or device failure. It is amazing to flip back and forth between the pictures.
Hole. No Hole. Hole. No Hole!