About Congenital Heart Treatment
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Congenital heart treatment
What is congenital heart disease?
Congenital heart disease is also known as a congenital heart defect. It is an abnormality of the heart that exists at birth. The defect usually affects heart organs such as the blood vessels, valves or the heart walls. The diseases range from minor defects to critical conditions that can result in the death of the affected individual.
Types of congenital heart disease
The congenital diseases can be categorized into three main groups:
- Heart wall congenital diseases- these defects make the walls of the heart chambers grow in a defective manner hence causing pumping of blood in the chambers very hard. This effect makes the heart try to pump the blood in a high pressure which may result in hypertension.
- Valve congenital diseases- these defects may affect the flow of blood in the heart. The valves may open and close irregularly.
- Blood vessels congenital defects- involves poor functioning of weak blood veins and arteries carrying blood in and out of the heart. This condition may develop into a chronic disease if not rectified quickly.
Cyanotic and Acyanotic Congenital Heart Disease
In both of these defects, the blood from the heart is not pumped in the correct manner. The heart fails to pump enough blood to be supplied to the body due to defects of the heart. The main difference between acyanotic and cyanotic defects is that cyanotic defects cause low oxygen levels in the blood while acyanotic conditions blood is pumped in low levels. Babies born with these defects will have breathing problems or develop the blue-baby disease. The conditions may develop later in life resulting in high blood pressure.
Symptoms of congenital Heart Disease
Most congenital defects are discovered during an ultrasound scan. Treatment may start immediately or when recommended by the doctor. Babies with congenital defects may show symptoms such as:
- Low weight at birth
- Chest complications
- Stunted growth
- Suckling difficulties
- Breathing complications
- Blue skin and toes
In cases where the conditions develop in later years, the symptoms may include:
- Frequent dizziness
- Irregular heartbeats
- Fatigue after minor tasks
- Breathing problems
- Swellings on the skin
Causes congenital heart disease
- The heart defect may be a hereditary case
- Intake of certain prescription drugs
- Consuming alcoholic beverages and other illegal substances
- Conditions such as diabetes during pregnancy
- Pregnant mothers who have viral diseases may end up giving birth to babies with heart conditions
Treatment of congenital heart diseases
The type of the disease determines the type of treatment given to the patient. Some of the diseases can cure on their own when the kid is still young while others require intense treatment. The following are some of the recommended treatment options available:
- Prescribed Medications: These medications are used to prevent conditions such as blood clot in heart blood vessels and irregular heartbeat.
- Catheter Procedures: Catheter procedures involve repair of certain congenital heart disease without performing surgery on the chest or heart. The procedure involves insertion of a thin tube through a vein in the leg up to the heart. The doctor will then use this tube to pass small tools through it and correct the condition.
- Implantable Heart Devices: These devices include such as the heart pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. The heart pacemaker restores the normal heart beat rate while the implantable cardioverter defibrillator corrects the adverse irregular heart beat syndrome.
- Open-Heart Surgery: In cases of extreme conditions, surgery is necessitated. The surgery corrects defects such as holes in the heart, constricted blood vessels and dysfunctional heart valves.
- Heart Transplant: This option is the last in case of extreme defects. A completely shuttered heart will need replacement from a donor.
How to prevent congenital heart diseases
If you are pregnant, there are several precautionary measures you can undertake to prevent your unborn kid from developing a congenital heart defect:
- Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages or prohibited drugs.
- For those with diabetes, ensure that you control your levels of blood glucose before becoming pregnant.
- Get rubella and measles vaccination and avoid contracting the diseases
- Ensure that any medications you take are prescribed by a qualified physician
- Undergo genetic screening if your family has a history of congenital heart disease.
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