cardiology consultation, Congenital Heart Defects, Healthcare

Congenital Heart Defects: Types, Symptoms, Consultation

Heart malformations are congenital heart defects that causes problems with the heart’s structure. These defects is present at birth which is the most common kind of genetic disability involving the valves, arteries, walls, and vines near the heart. 

Congenital Heart Defects

Children with the congenital heart defects are most likely to be born with a problem in the heart. However, some congenital heart illnesses are not complex and do not require treatment, but some cases might require various surgeries over several years. The treatment would vary on an individual’s condition.

Types of congenital heart defects

1. Atrial septal defect (ASD)

An atrial septal defect (ACD) is a hole in the heart between the atria. This hole increases the amount of blood streaming through the lungs.

2. Atrioventricular canal defect (ACD)

An atrioventricular canal defect, also known as the atrioventricular septal defect, is a mixture of heart disorders that affects the heart’s center. This kind of heart condition is present at birth, and children with such a disorder have a hole between the chamber of the heart and heart valves, which control the blood streaming to the heart.

3. Bicuspid aortic valve 

Abicuspid aortic valve is a heart illness that an individual is born with, and the aortic valve separates the left ventricle and the aorta.

Symptoms of congenital heart defect

1. Cyanosis

Cyanosis is when the skin becomes pale, gray, or blue.

2. Rapid breathing

Rapid breathing is also called tachypnea; this is a higher respiratory rate or faster than average.

3. Swelling

Congenital heart defect can cause swelling in the legs, areas around the eyes, and the belly.

Heart Malformation Surgery Consultant

A cardiothoracic consultant performs medical surgery who specializes in the surgical methods of the heart, esophagus, lungs, and other organs present in the chest. A cardiologist would first study the patient’s condition and discuss it with a cardiothoracic surgeon. Moreover, the cardiologist examines the heart and provides the best possible treatment according to the patient’s condition and might feel the need to refer a patient to a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Requirements of a Congenital Heart Defects Surgery Consultant

A cardiothoracic surgeon must have 3-4 years of bachelor’s degree and 4 years of medical schooling for a medical doctor of osteopathic medicine. In addition, he/she must hold a six-year integrated cardiac surgery residence or complete a five-year general surgery, including two or three years of cardiothoracic learning.

Responsibilities of a Congenital Heart Defects surgeon are:

The duties of a cardiac surgeon are quite extensive other than performing surgery. A cardiac surgeon must take notes to have a proper record of their performance. Secondly, a cardiac surgeon needs to participate in academic teaching at hospitals frequently. Thirdly, he/she has to perform training and work simultaneously.

The consultant might suggest the following examination before the actual surgery to diagnose heart malformation

  • Electrocardiogram: The surgeon might advise an individual to perform an electrocardiogram, often known as EGG or EKG. It is a machine used to record the heart’s electrical activity on graph paper.
  • Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram test is a graphic outline of the heart’s movement. It consists of a hand-held wand placed on an individual’s chest, which provides the image of the chamber and the heart valves. It aids the sonographer in evaluating the pumping action of the heart.
  • Stress test: The exercise stress test aids in analyzing the performance of the heart while performing routine tasks. This test requires an individual to walk on a treadmill or an exercising machine along with the EKG to check the heart’s activity.
  • ST Scan or X-ray: A cardiac surgeon may also suggest an ST scan or an X-ray to get an insight view of the heart chambers and valves.

Pre-surgery consultation for Congenital Heart Defects

The consultation may include discussing the treatment taken before and after the surgery. The consultant may also feel the need to change medication according to the patient’s condition. Before the surgery, a consultant would explain to the patient about the preparation for the surgery and what precautions might be needed to take after the surgery. Moreover, the surgeon would provide information about the outcomes of the tests.


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