Perhaps you had heart surgery as a child because of congenital heart disease and are wondering how to best care for your heart as an adult. Or you may have been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect as an adult. Whatever your experience, our congenital heart disease specialists understand your unique health needs.
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Tests and Diagnosis
Some congenital heart problems are not diagnosed until later in life. If we suspect that you may have a congenital heart defect, we will perform one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG), to record your heart’s electrical activity
- Imaging tests, including chest X-ray, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which give us a detailed picture of your heart and lungs
- Exercise stress test, a test to evaluate your heart’s electrical activity, heart rate and blood pressure while you exercise (usually while walking on a treadmill).
- Cardiac catheterization, a procedure done at a hospital where a tube called a catheter is inserted into your blood vessels. The catheter is maneuvered to your heart while an X-ray takes detailed images of your heart and blood vessels.
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Treatments
There are many treatment options for adults with congenital heart disease. Your heart team will work with you to decide on the right treatment, which may include:
- Medication: We may be able to control your symptoms with medication and regular monitoring.
- Pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD): These implantable devices help control your heartbeat and restore normal heart rhythms.
- Cardiac catheterization: Can be used to correct or repair defects and even replace valves with this minimally invasive procedure.
- Heart surgery: If a cardiac catheterization is not sufficient, you may become a candidate for traditional open-heart surgery.
- Heart transplant: Sometimes, a heart defect cannot be repaired through surgery. You may be a candidate for a heart transplant surgery.
If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please let us know.