Congenital heart defects are structural abnormalities in the heart or the blood vessels surrounding
the heart that are present at birth. Although most lead full and active
lives, many adults with congenital heart disease have unique medical challenges.
There are over 30 forms of congenital heart disease and it can be difficult
for adult patients to find cardiologists familiar with their unusual cardiac
anatomy and the complex medical issues that can be associated with it.
Common Congenital Heart Disease
Our multidisciplinary team provides a fully integrated approach to the
treatment of all types of congenital heart disease. The program includes
physicians with expertise in adult and pediatric cardiac imaging, interventional
cardiac catheterization, interventional electrophysiology, complex congenital
heart surgery, pulmonary hypertension and heart transplantation. Our dedicated
nurse practitioner ensures patient-centered care.
Patient and Family Resources
Managing a Lifelong Condition
It was once assumed that if a childhood heart defect was successfully repaired,
no further intervention would be needed. However, as patients reach adulthood,
many develop previously unforeseen problems associated with their early
surgeries. Complications of early heart repairs can develop gradually
over time - often without clear symptoms - and many patients remain unaware
that a serious problem may exist.
Experts now recommend that anyone diagnosed with congenital heart disease
get regular check-ups by a specialist in adult congenital heart disease
to ensure that their heart is functioning well and to determine whether
any further treatment may be necessary.
For many people, a diagnosis may not be made until adulthood. The affects
of aging and acquired heart disease are experienced very differently in
people with congenital abnormalities and require unique and specialized care.
Evaluation and Management
Comprehensive services address the unique and long-term needs of teens,
adults and the elderly living with congenital heart disease.
Our high-volume center applies catheter-based techniques to close holes
and open blocked valves and blood vessel obstructions that once required
When minimally invasive treatments are not appropriate, our adult congenital
surgical team performs surgery using small incisions whenever possible.
Patients also have seamless access to specialists in:
- Maternal and Fetal Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Social Services and Counseling
Easing the Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care
The program serves as a vital link for adolescents transitioning care from
their pediatric cardiologists. This natural shift ushers patients through
critical growth phases with the expertise of both pediatric and adult
Our team cares for patients over the age of 18 with congenital heart disease,
regardless of the age they were diagnosed or where they may have had previous
surgical repair or other treatments.