Congenital Heart Defects
Your child's treatment for a congenital heart defect will be based on the type of problem he or she has. Your child's age, size, and general health also are important.
Treatment helps most children live fairly normal lives. Your child may need:
- Medicines to help with symptoms. Some medicines can control a heartbeat that isn't regular. Others make the heart stronger until a defect can be fixed. Your child may need some medicines after surgery. To learn more, see Reference Medications.
- A procedure called Reference heart catheterization to find out details about the heart defect or sometimes to repair the defect. To learn more, see Reference Other Treatment.
- Surgery to repair the structural defect. If a newborn needs surgery, the surgery may be delayed until the baby is stronger. If the defect threatens the baby's life, surgery will be done right away. To learn more, see Reference Surgery.
Your child will also need regular visits to a pediatric Reference cardiologist Opens New Window.
Reference Caring for a child who has a heart problem can be hard.
You may need to keep track of medicines and make frequent trips to the doctor. Costs can be high. Try to find support groups and other parents who can help you with the many emotions involved.
What to think about
Some children die from severe congenital heart defects or related Reference complications, such as heart failure. If your baby is born with a severe heart defect, there's a good chance that he or she will survive with treatment. But you must also prepare for the possibility that your child may die. Talk with your doctor about local resources and organizations that can help you manage your emotional and practical struggles when faced with this possibility.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 11, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Larry A. Latson, MD - Pediatric Cardiology