Children’s of Mississippi team removes tumor hidden in Gulfport child’s heart

Focused On Health

Registered Diagnostic Sonographer Elizabeth Bush uses a pediatric echocardiogram machine during a post-op follow up visit with five-year-old Levi Outlaw at the Children’s Heart Center.

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Levi Outlaw’s need for sedation during dental work may have saved his life.

While the five-year-old from Gulfport was having several teeth filled, the anesthesiologist noticed an abnormal heart rhythm on his electrocardiogram.

After a visit with his pediatrician, Dr. Catherine Donald of Children’s of Mississippi’s Gulfport clinic, Levi and parents Marc and Monique Outlaw went to pediatric cardiologist Dr. John Criscuolo at Children’s of Mississippi’s Biloxi specialty clinic.

A large mass, 8 by 6 by 5 centimeters, was found growing in Levi’s left ventricle, a diagnosis Criscuolo calls “astounding.”

Levi and his family traveled to Jackson in August, and a cardiac MRI confirmed Criscuolo’s diagnosis of a cardiac fibroma, a non-cancerous heart tumor.

The multidisciplinary Children’s Heart Center team, including cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mohammed Ghanamah, recommended surgery to remove Levi’s tumor. The procedure was performed a day before Levi’s fifth birthday.

“Levi’s surgery was challenging, mainly because it was difficult to tell how much heart muscle would be remaining and how his heart function would be after this huge tumor was removed,” Ghanamah said. “It was also challenging to reconstruct the left ventricular wall. Thankfully, the procedure went very well with complete resection of the tumor, good heart wall reconstruction and a normal function of the heart. I believe he has an excellent prognosis.”

Once the family was back home in Gulfport, Levi has been active, running and playing with his favorite, toy trains.

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