What is congenital heart disease?
Congenital (meaning present at birth) heart disease is a term used to describe a number of different conditions that affect the heart. These heart abnormalities are problems that occur as the baby's heart is developing during pregnancy, before the baby is born. Congenital heart disease (CHD) affects 1 in 120 babies born in the United States, making heart defects the most common birth defects.
Specific steps must take place in order for the heart to form correctly. Often, congenital heart disease is a result of one of these crucial steps not happening at the right time.
We can classify the different types of congenital heart disease into several categories in order to better understand the problems your baby may experience.
Why Choose Us?
The Cardiac Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia cares for children from before birth through adulthood, offering the most advanced treatments for complex congenital heart disease, lymphatic leaks and flow disorders, and other conditions.
Treatments for congenital heart disease
Congenital heart problems range from simple to complex. Some heart problems can be watched by your child's cardiologist and managed with medicines, while others will require heart surgery or cardiac catheterization — sometimes as soon as in the first few hours after birth.
A child may even "grow out" of some of the simpler heart problems, such as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) or atrial septal defect (ASD). These conditions may simply resolve on their own as the child grows. Other children will have more complex forms of congenital heart disease, or a combination of different types, and require several operations or catheter interventions and ongoing care throughout their lives.