Congenital Heart Disease Surgery

Congenital heart disease is a serious condition that can be life-threatening or simply dangerous for health at any point of person’s life. If possible, it should be treated and eliminated. Find out how Bonifatius Hospital deals with congenital heart diseases in adults and children, and why thousands of patients from all over the world select our clinic.

What is it?

Congenital heart diseases in children are inborn problems with heart structure that can affect inner walls of the organ, valves inside, and arteries that carry blood in and outside the heart. Thus, heart defects alter the normal flow of blood inside the heart. There are many kinds of defects with some having no symptoms and other being potentially lethal.

Congenital heart disease statistics show that 0,8% of newborn babies have some defects. In the USA, about 35.000 children with congenital heart disease are born every year. Most of conditions are not serious, and don’t require special treatment.

Causes of congenital heart disease

Most people think that the incidence of congenital heart disease is connected with the period of pregnancy: if something went wrong during these 9 months, problem might have been caused by that. However, most doctors can’t say why exactly this or that defect has developed. Heredity plays a great role in some heart defects. Children with genetic disorders are prone to having heart defects (for instance, kids with Down syndrome). Smoking during pregnancy is what really can trigger development of congenital heart disease in newborn.

Symptoms of pediatric congenital heart disease

Many defects have no signs and symptoms at all, and doctors can’t detect them during a physical exam. However, it’s recommended to check a baby, if it experiences:

  • fast breathing;
  • fatigue;
  • poorblood circulation.

Cyanotic congenital heart disease manifests into a blush tint on lips, skin and fingernails. Besides, children with such defects also tire quickly when feeding, and don’t gain weight as they should. Another symptom is shortness of breathing that comes quickly during physical activity. Note that heart defects do not cause pain in chest or other body parts. What doctors often find is a so called “heart murmur” (a certain noise in heart), but healthy children may also have it.

Other congenital heart disease symptoms include fatigue during workout, collection of blood and fluid in lungs, buildup of fluid in legs, feet and ankles.

Treatment of congenital heart disease

Sometimes catheter procedures are enough to deal with diseases: they involve needle puncture in the skin and insertion of a tiny tube into a vein. However, a complex congenital heart disease requires more serious treatment, and congenital heart disease surgery is a must.

Sometimes one surgery is enough to fix a heart defect, if not, several surgeries are performed over months or years to cure a kid. A surgery may serve to:

  • close holes in the heart using a patch or stitches;
  • widen, replace or fix heart arteries or valves;
  • replace the heart with a transplant.

How the surgery is performed?

The peculiarities of treatment depend on the type of pathophysiology of congenital heart disease, but all operations require several common steps. First, a person gets general anesthesia to fall asleep and not to feel pain. Then the surgeon make a long cut on the chest (10-20 cm) and may cut rib cage to access the heart. The person is connected to the lung-heart machine which controls blood oxygenation and flow though body. The surgeon repair heart and vessels, or replaces damaged parts, and checks whether they function properly. Then cuts are sutured, and ribs can be fixed with titanium plates. After that, a patient is sent to the intensive care unit for one day.

After a surgery, a patient has to stay in hospital for about 3-7 days, and overall recovery takes several weeks. The possibility to return to normal activities and sports depends on the type of defect treated.

Why patients trust Bonifatius Hospital?

Having state-of-art facilities and equipment Bonifatius Hospital team can deal with most congenital heart disease types. Our doctors with Prof. D-r Gerald Kolb in head are experienced and qualified: we have already helped hundreds of children and adults with heart defects, and keep improving our methods and techniques.

Our advantages

Why choosing Bonifatius Hospital?

  • We have convenient wards and good catering;
  • Our patients are monitored and helped 24/7;
  • We use multi-disciplinary approach and innovative methods;
  • Our hospital is equipped with advanced machines and apparatus;
  • We have agreeable prices for diagnosis, treatment and hospitalization.

Our clinic is located in Lingen, Germany. This is a small town where you can rest and go through treatment without stress and anxiety.