Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a structural heart problem you are born with and the most common type of birth defect. Advancements in congenital heart surgery have made it possible to repair and improve heart function in babies, but the condition continues to exist after they grow up.
More than 1 million Americans have adult CHD, and that number grows by 5 percent every year. Although millions of adults live with this heart defect, most do not receive care for CHD because they think they were cured as children or have “outgrown” it. This condition is never cured, and as an adult it increases your risk of developing heart problems such as heart rhythm disorders and infective endocarditis.
If you have CHD, lifelong heart care is a necessity. Palo Alto Medical Foundation's cardiovascular specialists have expertise treating adult congenital heart disease and provide advanced diagnostic testing including intracardiac echocardiograms and transesophageal echocardiogram. Your cardiologist will develop a treatment and maintenance plan tailored to your specific needs and concerns.
Depending on your doctor’s recommendations, your care plan may be as simple as regular follow-up visits and screening for complications, or may include medications and special procedures, such as transcatheter structural heart repair and valvuloplasty, to improve your heart function.