Pediatric Congenital Heart Surgery
What is it?
A congenital heart defect is a malformation of the heart that is present at birth and may affect the major blood vessels, heart chambers or heart valves. Some heart defects can be detected prenatally with a fetal echocardiogram and may need to be corrected right after a baby is born. For other cases, it may be safe for a child to wait for months or years to have surgery. One surgery may be enough to repair a heart defect, and others require a series of procedures.
Coarctation of the aorta repair
This occurs when there is a narrowed section – like an hourglass – in one part of your aorta. The most common way to repair it is through an incision on the chest. The narrow section is made bigger with a man-made patch. In children, sometimes the narrow section of the aorta is removed and the remaining ends are stitched together. More frequently, a catheter-based procedure is used to place a stent in the narrowed part of the artery, keeping it open.
Atrial septal defect (ASD) repair
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is an opening in the atrial septum, the wall between the upper chambers of the heart. This can be closed with a cardiac closure device, although sometimes it is closed during open-heart surgery using stitches or a patch.
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair
Some children are born with a hole between the lower chambers of the heart. In most children, a smaller VSD will close by age 1, but a VSD that stays open after this age must be closed with a cardiac closure device.
Tetralogy of Fallot repair
Children born with this rare disorder have periods in which they suffer from low oxygen levels in the blood, and sometimes have a bluish-purple skin color. The disorder includes four related defects.
Often the baby’s heart will need multiple repairs, depending on the defects, including: a ventricular septal defect repair, the removal of muscle from the pulmonary vavle, and the placement of a patch on the right ventricle and main pulmonary artery to improve blood flow to the lungs. A shunt procedure to close a hole in the heart may need to be done first.
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) correction
TAPVR occurs when the pulmonary veins bring oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the right side of the heart, instead of the left side of the heart, where it occurs in healthy people. If an infant is born with severe symptoms, an immediate surgery may be needed. TAPVR repair requires an open-heart surgery in which the pulmonary veins are routed back to the left side of the heart.
Hypoplastic left heart repair
This severe heart defect results from an underdeveloped left heart. If it is not treated, it causes death in most babies who are born with it. A series of three heart operations is usually needed. The first operation is done in the first week of the baby's life. This is a complicated surgery where one blood vessel is created from the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The second surgery is completed when the baby is a few months old, the third surgery is completed a year after that.
The Loyola difference
Loyola is a nationally recognized leader in cardiac care. U.S. News & World Report ranked us 18th in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery in 2012, making this our 10th year in the top 50.
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