Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Chief Physician

Congenital Heart Disease Surgery

PD MD Wolfgang Harringer

Chief Physician

Patient rating
    3.2/5 (12 votes)
Statistics 2017
  • 7816 patient admission
  • 32 physicians
  • 117 medical staff
  • 872 electrophysiological examinations of the heart
  • 277 right heart catheterizations
  • 3985 left heart catheterizations
  • 1218 diagnostic tracheobronchoscopy
  • 2398 transesophageal echocardiography
  • 378 implantations of a cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator
  • 1092 inserting a stent

Congenital Heart Disease Surgery

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is abnormal development of the heart anatomical structure present at birth. It can be valves defects, vessels problem or underdevelopment of the heart ventricles. The root of the disorder is difficult to determine as it starts in a fetal stage. According to the stats, 8-12 babies of 1000 are born with congenital heart defects. In most cases, it does not mean death sentence but, nevertheless, CHD remains one of the main reasons of the death at birth or in early age.

Causes of Congenital Heart Disease

The causes of CHD stay unclear. There are certain risk factors that could create conditions for congenital defects as:

  • Genetic problems
  • Maternal health issues as diabetes or having flu during first trimester of pregnancy
  • Alcohol consumptions during pregnancy
  • Infections
  • Medication use, as ibuprofen

It is known that more risk of abnormal development occurs in a fifth week of pregnancy when the heart starts developing. But you should note that there is no direct cause and condition relation between above factors and developing congenital heart disorder in fetus. If you think on prevention of possible heart problems in prenatal stage just keep healthy style of life.

When Your Baby Has Congenital Heart Disease?

It sounds menacingly when you said that your child has congenital defect but do not forget that nowadays more that 80% percent of the cases of CHD in children are successfully treated started from possibility to live as other kids but with certain limitations till complete recovery.

Pediatric cardiology offers a number of diagnostics tools and treatment options. If your suspect your baby has CHD, first what you need is accurate diagnostics.

Types of Congenital Heart Defects

Kinds of CHD vary depending on degree and anatomy. Among the common defects you could name:

  • Septal defects are the holes in the inner heart walls as the wall between the atrias (atrial septal defects) or the ventricles (ventricular septal defects).
  • Valve defects are presented by congenital stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessels), regurgitation (inability of the heart valve to close completely) and atresia, which is a hole letting the blood to pass through.
  • Cyanotic defects that results in bluish skin including transposition of the heart arteries.
  • Hypoplasia, which is underdevelopment of the ventricles.

The heart defects can be present separately or together. Some of them can be revealed immediately after birth but other can last for years before they are found. Many people having CHD from birth were diagnosed only when adult. Depending of severity the treatment can be rather mild or radical as surgical intervention.

Congenital Heart Disease Treatment

Some congenital heart defect can stay without treatment but mostly those conditions require quiet serious treatment. Below you can find some common problems and the way how to eliminate them:

  • Repair for coarctation of the aorta. Sometimes aorta may have narrowing in one part (hourglass shaped) and that can be improved with surgery. A surgeon can choose to cut a narrow section of aorta and widen it with a patch of artificial material. Another way is to cut it out and stitch. It also possible to insert a tube instead of cut part. All of those reparations can be made in open surgery or with minimally invasive technique.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). It is a condition when one of the vessels which goes around the lung in a fetus still open when the baby is born (normally it closes in a few days). That leads to abnormal blood floor and can be repaired with catheterization or surgery.
  • Ventricle septal defect (VSD). If the wall between ventricles has holes, the condition can be treated with patched. Mostly it is done by surgery but sometimes a wire which are introduced into the hart to close the hole with a patch.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot. ‘Tetralogy’ is a disease with most complex pathophysiology, characterized with conjunction of four defects including overriding aorta, pulmonary outflow narrowing, thickened right ventricle wall and VSD. Always require surgery.

Pediatric and Adult Treatment of CHD in Clinic of Braunschweig

Thanks to multidisciplinary structure, Clinic of Braunschweig provides complex treatment of congenial heart disease both for children and adult. Depending on degree and complexity of CHD different department can be involved as Heart Surgery Department, Cardiology Department, Pediatric centers and others. After diagnostics with modern means you will be advised conservative or surgical treatment with following rehabilitation. The qualified specialists of the Clinic of Braunschweig focus on choosing optimal methods in accordance with the patient situation.

If you need help of experienced doctor to find the best solution, please contact us and we will try to meet all of your requirements. Our specialists will give you detailed information on possible treatment and design individual treatment.

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