A heart problem present at birth


Understanding Adult Congenital Heart Disease

What is it?

Many people are born with defects in their hearts. Through advanced surgeries and the medical care available, more and more people who are born with heart defects go on to live long and healthy lives.

Adults with congenital heart disease require special care, though. At Lee Health, we have the expertise needed to help adults who were born with heart defects.

What are the symptoms?

Many congenital heart defects are diagnosed before birth, soon after birth or during early childhood. Other congenital heart defects may not be diagnosed until adulthood. Some congenital heart defects are repaired by surgery during childhood, but require advanced surgery during adolescence or adulthood.

The symptoms of a congenital heart disorder may include an inability to tolerate exercise, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting. Severe symptoms of congenital heart disease may include purple skin color during exercise (cyanosis).

How is it treated?

Treatment for congenital heart defects depends upon the specific abnormalities in the heart walls, the heart valves, and the large blood vessels of the heart. Cardiac surgery repair can involve closing holes in the heart valve, implanting artificial heart valves and creating new conduits to direct the flow of blood from the heart.

What is Lee Health's approach?

Lee Health pays special attention to adults with congenital heart disease. Our multi-disciplinary team of cardiac surgeons and cardiologists all work together to offer advanced treatment of complex congenital heart disease in adults. We offer a combination of surgical procedures, Noninvasive procedures, imaging and monitoring to improve the lives of adult survivors of congenital heart disease.

Who should I contact?

If you are an adult with a congenital heart defect, call Lee Health at 239-343-7490.

View this topic in our Health Encyclopedia.

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