At Yale Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, we offer comprehensive, specialized care in the treatment of congenital heart disease in infants, children, and adolescents. Using innovative technology, we can diagnose certain congenital diseases before your baby is born. Prenatal diagnosis allows our surgeons to create an early treatment plan so that your child can receive the best possible care from birth. Our surgeons are recognized for their experience in neonatal heart surgery and in open-heart surgery in newborns younger than one month of age.
Congenital heart diseases are the most common type of major birth defect. A congenital heart disease means that the structure of the heart did not develop correctly while the baby was in utero. The heart begins to form in the embryonic stage shortly after conception – at just five weeks gestation.
Congenital structural issues of the heart may include malformation of the heart’s walls and valves, as well as the arteries and veins near the heart. Structural issues can disrupt the normal blood flow through the heart by slowing down, flowing in the wrong direction, going to the wrong place, or being completely blocked.
Some of the most common issues in children with congenital heart disease include:
- Aortic Valvar Stenosis (AS)
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
- Atrioventricular Septal Defect (or AV Canal Defect)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Ebstein's Anomaly
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Interrupted Aortic Arch/Ventricular Septic Defect
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
- Pulmonary Valvar Stenosis (PS)
- Single Ventricle Anomalies
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Vascular Rings
- Ventricular Septic Defect (VSD)
Many children with congenital heart disease require on-going care when they reach adulthood to deal with a variety of issues. Some of the most common problems for adults with congenital heart disease include:
- Pulmonary valve leakage resulting in decreasing right ventricular function
- Long term issues resulting from palliation of single ventricle heart disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Valve dysfunction (Tricuspid, mitral, aortic, or pulmonary)
Treatment for the condition depends on the type and severity of the defect and the child’s age, size, and overall health. Some cases may be treated with medications, while other defects may require surgery. Through innovative surgical techniques and research, our team of pediatric surgeons and specialists is committed to helping children with even the most complex congenital heart diseases lead better lives.