A congenital heart defect is a problem with how a child's heart formed. The doctor fixed your child's heart defect through a cut, called an incision, in the chest.
Your child will probably get tired easily for several weeks after coming home. He or she may have a low fever at first. This usually goes away in 1 or 2 days. Your child's chest will be sore for the first few weeks. The doctor will teach you how to take care of your child's incision. The incision will leave a scar that will fade with time.
Your child will probably need 1 to 2 months to fully recover.
Surgery to repair a congenital heart defect can be stressful for you and your child. Your child's recovery will depend on the type of heart defect he or she had. Your child may need more than one procedure or surgery to fix the problem. He or she may need to take medicines and see a heart doctor throughout life. But many children lead a normal, active life after the defect is fixed.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Following the steps below can help your child recover as quickly as possible. Your child's doctor also will give you care instructions.
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 or nurse call line 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.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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