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A congenital heart defect is a problem with how a child's heart formed. The doctor repaired 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. They 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 healthcare team will teach you how to take care of your child's incision. The incision will leave a scar that will fade with time. If you are interested, talk to your child’s healthcare team about what you can do to lessen scarring.
Your child will probably feel more tired than usual for several weeks after surgery. Your child will have activity restrictions for 6 weeks. But it may take longer for your child to fully recover. How long it takes will depend on the type of heart defect your child had.
Surgery to repair a congenital heart defect can be stressful for you and your child. Some children find that they feel sad or more emotional while they are recovering after this surgery. This may last for up to 6 weeks after surgery. Talk with your doctor if this sadness continues or you have concerns about how your child is feeling.
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 healthcare team will also 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 advice 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 advice line if your child has any problems.
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Adaptation Date: 2/25/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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