A congenital heart defect is a problem with how a child's heart
formed. The defect can affect how blood flows through the heart or blood
vessels. The heart may have a hole between its chambers, or a valve or artery
may not have formed the right way. Or a heart valve, artery, or chamber may not
have formed at all.
Some defects can be fixed using a thin tube
called a catheter. This type of procedure does not require the doctor to make a
cut (incision) in your child's chest. The doctor will put the catheter into a
blood vessel, usually in your child's groin. The doctor will move the catheter through
the blood vessel to the heart. Then the doctor will guide special tools through
the catheter to fix the heart defect.
Having a child with a heart
problem can be scary. You may feel overwhelmed. Learning as much you can about
your child's treatment can help you feel better. You may also want to talk with
other parents who have a child with similar problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor
if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's
test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
procedure can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information
will help you understand what you can expect and how to safely prepare for the
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Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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