Congenital Heart Disease Treatment in Navi Mumbai

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease, also known as congenital heart defect is one or more defects in the heart's structure that is present since birth. Congenital heart diseases can alter the flow of blood to the heart and are of many types. Some types may be mild, while others are more severe and sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. Advances in diagnosis and treatment have helped improve survival for patients with congenital heart disease.

Congenital heart diseases are asymptomatic in some people and are not noticed until adulthood. Symptoms may sometimes be seen years after treatment of a congenital heart defect. Some of the common symptoms of congenital heart disease in adults include:

  • Arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythm
  • Cyanosis or bluish discolouration of the skin, lips, and fingernails
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive fatigue, especially with physical activity
  • Oedema or swelling of the body tissues and organs

If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, such as chest pain or shortness of breath that worry you, call Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Navi Mumbai to seek emergency medical attention.

The exact cause of congenital heart disease remains known. Some forms of the disease are inherited or passed down through families. If you have congenital heart disease, understanding how the heart typically works will help you.

The human heart is divided into chambers - two upper chambers called atria and two lower ones called ventricles. The right portion of the heart sends blood to the lungs through special blood vessels named pulmonary arteries. In the lungs, the blood takes up oxygen and then moves to the left portion of the heart via the pulmonary veins.The left portion of the heart then pumps the blood and sends it through the aorta to the rest of the body.

Congenital heart disease can affect any heart structure, including the arteries, valves, chambers and septum. The septum in the heart is the partition or a wall of tissue that separates the different chambers.

Certain environmental and genetic risk factors may contribute to the development of congenital heart disease, including:

  • Genetics
    Congenital heart diseases are associated with many genetic syndromes and are inherited; they appear to run in families. For example, kids with Down syndrome often have congenital heart defects. Down syndrome and some other genetic conditions can be detected by genetic screening in intrauterine life.
  • Rubella or German measles
    If the mother has rubella during pregnancy, it may affect the development of the baby's heart while in the womb.
  • Diabetes
    Having diabetes during pregnancy also may affect the development of a baby's heart. Gestational diabetes, however, doesn't increase the chances of developing congenital heart disease.
  • Medications
    Intake of certain medications during pregnancy can cause congenital heart disease and other congenital disabilities in the child. Medications associated with heart defects include lithium, prescribed for bipolar disorder, and isotretinoin used to treat acne. Always inform your doctor about the medications you take.
  • Alcohol
    Excessive consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of heart defects in the baby.
  • Smoking
    If you are a smoker, quit the bad habit. Smoking while one is pregnant increases the chances of developing congenital heart defects in the baby.

Congenital heart disease can lead to other health conditions later in life. Complications may even be seen years after a congenital heart defect is adequately treated. These complications include:

  • Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats
    Abnormal signals in the heart cause the heart to beat too rapidly, too slowly or with an irregular rhythm. In some patients, severe arrhythmias may lead to stroke or sudden cardiac death if not treated on time. If there is the development of scar tissue in the heart from past surgeries, it can contribute to this complication.
  • Endocarditis or infections in the heart tissue
    Microorganisms, including bacteria, can enter the bloodstream and navigate to the heart's inner lining called the endocardium. If left untreated, this infection can damage or destroy the heart's valves or lead to a stroke. Antibiotics are recommended to be taken one hour before dental cleanings for those at a higher risk of developing endocarditis. Timely dental checkups and keeping teeth and gums clean are important to decrease the chances of bacteria entering the bloodstream.
  • Stroke
    A congenital heart defect can cause a blood clot to move out of the heart and reach the brain, decreasing or blocking the blood supply.
  • Pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure in the lung blood vessels
    Some congenital heart defects cause blood to go into the lungs, increasing the pressure inside them. This eventually weakens the heart muscles as well.
  • Heart failure
    It occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to satisfy the body's needs.

Some types of congenital heart diseases are inherited or run in families. If someone in your family has congenital heart defects, undergoing screening procedures may help find out the chances of certain heart defects in future children.

For diagnosing congenital heart disease in adults, a complete physical examination is conducted, and the heart sounds are auscultated with a stethoscope, following which family and medical history are asked from the patient. Certain tests are run to check the health of the heart and search for other conditions that may lead to similar signs and symptoms. Investigations that help diagnose or confirm congenital heart disease in adults and children include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
    It is a painless test that records the electrical signals in the heart and helps to find out how fast or slow the heart is beating. It also helps to identify arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats
  • Chest X-ray
    A chest X-ray can reveal any changes in the size and shape of the heart and the lungs.
  • Pulse oximetry
    A small device with a sensor is attached to the finger to estimate how much oxygen is in the blood.
  • Echocardiogram
    This procedure employs ultrasound waves to create images of the moving heart to show the blood flow through the heart and its valves. Echocardiograms may also be performed while exercising on a treadmill to see the heart's response to physical activity.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
    It is done to obtain more-detailed images of the heart. In this procedure, a flexible tube that contains a transducer is guided down the throat and into the oesophagus or the food pipe.
  • Exercise or stress tests
    The patient is instructed to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while ECG monitors cardiac activity. Exercise tests help to show how the heart responds to physical activity.
  • Heart CT scan and MRI
    These procedures produce images of the heart and the chest on a monitor. CT scans employ X-rays, while a cardiac MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create the images. For both tests, the patient is instructed to lie on a table that typically slides into a long tube like machine.
  • Cardiac catheterization
    This test can be performed to evaluate the blood flow and pressures in the different chambers of the heart. A catheter is gently inserted into a blood vessel of the groin and sent up to the heart. It is guided into the correct position by using X-rays. Sometimes, dye is injected through the catheter to help show the blood vessels clearer in the images.

The treatment of congenital heart diseases is usually done successfully in childhood. However, some types may not be serious enough to be treated during childhood, but they may lead to problems in adulthood.

The treatment of congenital heart disease in adulthood depends on how severe the heart condition is. Occasional health checkups are recommended for relatively minor congenital heart defects to ensure the condition doesn't worsen. Other treatment options for congenital heart disease in adults include medications and surgery.

Mild congenital heart defects can be treated with medicines that help the heart perform better. Medications may also be given to prevent the formation of blood clots or to control an irregular heartbeat.

Several surgeries and procedures are performed to treat adults having congenital heart disease.

  • Implantable heart devices
    A device to control the heart rate named a pacemaker or to correct life-threatening irregular heartbeats named implantable cardioverter-defibrillator may be implanted to help improve some of the complications linked with congenital heart disease in adults.
  • Catheter-based treatments
    Some forms of congenital heart diseases in adults can be treated using thin, flexible tubes called catheters. Through such treatments, a repair can be done without open-heart surgery. A catheter is inserted through a blood vessel of the groin by a doctor and guided to the heart. More than one catheter is sometimes used. Once it is in place, the doctor threads tiny tools via the catheter to repair and treat the congenital heart defect.
  • Open-heart surgery
    If catheter procedures fail to fix a congenital heart defect, open-heart surgery may be recommended.
  • Heart transplant
    A heart transplant is considered an option if a heart defect is so serious that other procedures can't repair it.

Adults with congenital heart disease would be at risk of developing certain complications, even if they underwent surgery to get the defect repaired during childhood. Lifelong follow-up care is needed, which includes regular health checkups and occasional blood tests and imaging exams to look for complications. People with congenital heart disease also require lifelong medical care. Treatment includes regular checkups, medications or surgery.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is the best Congenital Heart Disease hospital in Navi Mumbai. When it comes to cardiac care, experience matters. Our hospital combines the expertise of The best doctors for Congenital Heart Disease in Navi Mumbai with world-class facilities and infrastructure to provide advanced cardiac care for all ages, aligned with the national and international healthcare standards. We are committed to delivering quality comprehensive medical care and excellent patient service.