How a congenital heart defect will affect your child’s life

A congenital defect is one that is present at birth. Congenital heart defects , of which there are many types, may affect the heart’s valves or interior walls, or the blood vessels near the heart. Although these are the most common type of birth defect, most of them are, fortunately, minor and require little to no treatment. Even if a child is born with a serious defect, there is specialized care available at heart hospitals like Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Symptoms in heart defect patients
Children with minor, asymptomatic heart defects may be diagnosed during a routine exam. If the heart defect is severe, it may be diagnosed shortly after birth or within the first few months of life.

Some heart defects may cause these signs and symptoms:

  • Feeding problems

  • Poor weight gain

  • Breathing problems

  • Very low blood pressure

Potential complications of heart defects
Severe heart defects may result in additional health problems that may require medical management . Some possible complications include:

  • Heart failure

  • Heart rhythm problems

  • Delayed growth

  • Delayed development

  • Heart tissue infection

  • Heart valve problems

Doctors typically recommend that patients with congenital heart defects be examined by a cardiologist on a routine basis for their lifetime.

Physical activity for heart defect patients
In most cases, children born with heart defects can safely enjoy mild to moderate exercise. In fact, regular exercise is usually recommended to support cardiovascular health and overall health. But just in case, it’s always advisable for parents to consult a cardiologist about whether their children must follow any activity restrictions.

Cardiologists may recommend avoiding strenuous activities, such as weightlifting, if the child has an enlarged aorta. Enlarged aortas can occur in patients with Marfan syndrome, Turner syndrome or a bicuspid aortic valve.

The most sophisticated, comprehensive heart care program in Southern Nevada is available at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . Our heart hospital in Las Vegas is home to numerous specialized programs and operating suites because we believe our patients deserve the best possible outcome. Call (702) 233-5300 for general information about our hospital services.

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