There is no cure for Congenital Heart Disease. Although you can have surgery to repair your heart, you will never be cured. It is very common to have surgery to repair your heart, but there may always be long-term effects of heart surgery. This can include abnormal heartbeats. In many cases, a cardiologist can detect problems with your heart before you even notice symptoms. This can keep your heart healthy and avoid serious complications.
Does Congenital Heart Disease Only Affect Children?
CHD affects adults and children. With new advances in medical care, now 90% of children born with a heart defect can live a normal life. Although you may not outgrow CHD, you can still live a long time with care.
What Type of Doctor Do CHD Patients Need?
If you have heart disease you should see a cardiologist. If you have CHD, then you’ll need to be under the care of a congenital cardiologist. This is because the term congenital refers to something that is present at birth. It is different from standard heart disease. Congenital heart disease refers to abnormalities of the heart present since birth. This is why you need to have a special cardiologist.
All Cardiologists Are Not the Same
There are many types of cardiologists, but they are not all created equal. Some work to treat specific heart problems such as those associated with structural disease, or others focus on abnormal heartbeats. If you go to a doctor that treats coronary artery disease or heart function, it probably won’t work for someone with CHD. Some cardiologists specialize in congenital heart disease and this is essential because they are trained to treat people born with heart abnormalities. For children, this type of doctor is known as a Pediatric Cardiologist, or a Congenital Heart Disease specialist for adults.
You May Not Find Out Until Later
Although you might be born with CHD, there are many people who do not know that they have it. One way to discover this is to go through the following questions. If you say yes to any of the following, you might have CHD and should speak to your doctor about seeing a congenital heart disease cardiologist.
- Did you often see a cardiologist as a child?
- Were you thought to have had a heart murmur as a child?
- Did you have heart surgery during childhood?
- Were you a “blue baby”?
- In school, did you ever have activity restrictions because of your heart?
- Did you take antibiotics before going to the dentist as a child?
What You Should Know
Congenital heart disease is a common birth defect. There are more than one million adults in the United States who have CHD. Most of these people do not routinely see a congenital cardiologist and this is not the right step to take. Contact us to learn more about CHD.