Congenital heart disease is also known as congenital heart defect is the defect seen at birth. The word congenital itself means “present at birth”. They are various types that can range from asymptomatic to more serious conditions that require treatment. And as per the reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 1 in 4 babies are born with a congenital heart defect.
Congenital heart defects happen when the chambers, walls, or valves of the heart or the blood vessels near the heart don’t develop naturally before birth. Due to the rising cases, pediatric cardiac treatment has improved a lot over the last few decades so that we can save nearly all children with congenital heart disease from complications.
What is Congenital Heart Disease?
It is an abnormality or structural problem of the heart or circulatory system that a child is born with. Congenital heart defects include the walls of the heart, the walls and arteries or veins near the heart. The defects occur during fetal development while some can be even detected when fetuses are still in the womb with ultrasound and echocardiogram. If the heart defect is detected in early screenings the physicians can act quickly to keep the baby safe and healthy and if it is detected late it can also lead to a situation where continuous care has to be taken throughout their lives.
Types of Congenital Heart Disease:
The cardiology treatment in India is very reliable. The doctors will guide you with the seriousness and the type of congenital heart disease you are affected by. There are various types of congenital heart defects that can be broken down into common categories such as cyanotic congenital heart disease, critical congenital heart disease, and other cyanotic or less acute congenital heart diseases.
Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease:
In this type of defect, the baby appears to be blue at birth. The blue color occurs because deoxygenated blood flows from the body. The common cyanotic heart defects include:
- Tetralogy of Fallot.
- Transportation of great arteries.
- Tricuspid atresia.
- Total anomalous pulmonary venous return.
- Truncus arteriosus.
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
In all these defects the surgery is required within the first year of life. Even multiple surgeries can be required for healthy heart function.
Ductal Dependent Congenital Heart Disease:
Babies are generally born with a small hole in the heart called ductus arteriosus. In the initial days of a baby’s life, the hole closes on its own, while in some children the hole doesn’t close on its own which is called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Children with ductal-dependent congenital heart disease will experience cardiovascular collapse when PDA closes.
Critical Congenital Heart Disease
Critical congenital heart disease generally requires surgery or a procedure within a baby’s first year of life. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is the most complex congenital heart disease.
Acyanotic or Less Acute Congenital Heart Disease
This heart defect is less dangerous but they are still a problem for a child’s health. They include ventricular septal defects, atrial septal defects, and minor valve defects like bicuspid aortic valves. Acute congenital heart disease heals on its own or with less intervention and also does not require surgery during the first year of the baby’s life.
Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease:
The best cardiologist in India will be able to detect even during a pregnancy ultrasound. If an abnormal heartbeat is heard in the baby the doctor will investigate by performing tests like an echocardiogram, a chest X-ray, or an MRI scan. In some cases, the heart defect may appear after birth which can be seen by these signs in the baby which includes:
- Bluish skin, lips, fingers, and toes.
- Trouble in breathing.
- Feeding difficulties.
- Lower birth weight.
- Chest pain.
- Delayed growth.
In some cases, the defect may not appear till many years of birth. Once symptoms are developed, you may experience:
- Abnormal heart rhythms.
- Trouble breathing.
The treatment depends on the type and severity of the defect. Some types don’t even require treatment, they heal on their own. Others may require serious treatments and the top cardiac hospitals in India have all types of treatment needed to treat congenital heart defects.
Medications: Some medications can help the heart work efficiently. Some may also be used to prevent blood clots from forming or to control an irregular heartbeat.
Implantable Heart Devices: Some devices can be used to prevent the complications associated with congenital heart defects which include pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.
Catheter Procedures: This technique allows the doctor to repair certain congenital heart defects without surgical opening of the chest and heart. In this procedure, the doctor will insert a thin tube into a vein in the leg and guide it up to the heart. Once the catheter is in the correct position the small tools will be used by the doctor through the catheter to correct the defect.
Heart Surgery: Open-heart surgery will be required if catheters aren’t enough to repair the congenital defect. The surgery will be performed to close holes in the heart, repair heart valves and also widen blood vessels.
Heart Transplant: In rare cases when it is very difficult to fix the heart defect a heart transplant will be needed. A surgeon replaces the child’s heart with a healthy heart. It has to be done in the best cardiology hospital in India. Consult the Best Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon in India for more.