Treatment of Congenital Heart Defects

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A congenital heart defect is an abnormality in the heart that develops before birth. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses treatment options for these types of defects.

Dr. Hill:

Most congenital heart defects are treated shortly after birth. Not all people with congenital heart defects require treatment.

Some defects will heal on their own and sometimes treatment is delayed until a baby grows and can better tolerate surgery.

Treatment for congenital heart defects may include:

Heart catheterization, to diagnose or repair the defect before surgery can be done.

Medications, to control symptoms such as irregular heartbeats, or to strengthen the heartbeat until the defect can be repaired. Medications are sometimes needed even after the defect is repaired, and

Surgery, to correct defects that cannot be repaired by a heart catheterization. Most heart surgery is done by the time the child is 2 to 4 years old. Corrective surgery may be done on a younger baby, especially if the condition is life-threatening. Serious cases may require a heart transplant.

With treatment, most people with congenital heart defects can lead fairly normal lives. Early diagnosis and medical intervention is necessary for the baby to thrive.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.