Part I Congenital Defects Awareness Month

Congenital heart defects

=This a problem with your heart that you’re born with.

-They’re the most common kind of birth defect.

There are at least 18 different types of congenital heart defects. Most affect the walls, valves, or blood vessels of your heart. Some are serious and may need several surgeries and treatments.

1-Hole in the Heart (Septal Defect)

This means you’re born with a hole in the wall, or septum of the heart that separates the left and right sides of your heart. The hole lets blood from the two sides mix.  This allows more oxygenated (L side of the heart) and more carbon dioxide blood (Rt side of the heart) mix together causing many problems.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

An ASD is a hole in the wall between the upper chambers, or the right and left atria, of your heart.

Some ASDs close on their own. Your doctor may need to repair a medium or large ASD with open-heart surgery or another procedure.

He might seal the hole with a minimally invasive catheter procedure. He inserts a small tube, or catheter, in your blood vessel all the way to your heart. Then he can cover the hole with a variety of devices.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

A VSD is a hole in the part of your septum that separates your heart’s lower chambers, or ventricles. If you have a VSD, blood gets pumped back to your lungs instead of to your body.

A small VSD may also close on its own. But if yours is larger, you may need surgery to repair it.

Complete Atrioventricular Canal Defect (CAVC)

This is the most serious septal defect. It’s when you have a hole in your heart that affects all four chambers.

A CAVC prevents oxygen-rich blood from going to the right places in your body. Your doctor can repair it with patches. But some people need more than one surgery to treat it.

2-Valve Defects

Valves control the flow of blood through your heart’s ventricles and arteries. And some minor heart defects can involve the valves, including:

Stenosis. When your valves become narrow or stiff, and won’t open or allow blood to pass easily.

Regurgitation. Your valves don’t close tightly, which lets your blood leak backward through them.

Atresia. This happens when your valve isn’t formed right or has no opening to let your blood pass through. It causes more complicated heart problems.

Ebstein’s anomaly. This is a defect in another heart valve, the tricuspid valve, which may keep it from closing tightly. Babies who have Ebstein’s also often have an atrial septal defect (ASD).

Pulmonary valve stenosis. This is the most common valve defect in newborns. Babies with severe cases often have strained right ventricles. Your doctor can usually treat it with a catheter procedure. She will use a catheter, or thin tube, with a balloon on the end to inflate and stretch open the strained valve.

Part II tomorrow on other defects!



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