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Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Lee Health: Your Trusted Cardiology Specialists For Treating Your Congenital Heart Disease

Lee Health Cardiology specialists are here to help you understand and treat your congenital heart disease. Lee Health is here to help you understand, manage and treat your congenital heart disease so you can live your best heart-healthy life.

What is congenital heart disease?

Adult congenital heart disease, also known as ACHD, is a term for conditions that affect your heart structure and function. “Congenital” means that the defect forms during fetal development and is present at birth. Congenital heart diseases can range in severity from mild to serious, with the corresponding symptoms also varying based on your unique condition. 

Thanks to continued advances in diagnosis and treatments the outcomes for people with ACHD have improved significantly. Now, more than 90% of people with adult congenital heart disease treated as children live long and healthy lives. Whether your ACHD diagnosis happens in childhood or as an adult, you will still require lifelong medical care to monitor your condition. At Lee Health, we have the expertise needed to help adults who were born with heart defects.

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What are the most common types of adult congenital heart disease?

The most common types of adult congenital heart disease include:

  • Blood vessel defects such as narrowing of the vessels and incorrect linking that affect blood flow.
  • Heart valve defects which include issues with valves closing properly, being completely closed, too narrow or misshapen. 
  • Septal defects or holes in the wall tissue between the upper or lower chambers of the heart.

Congenital heart diseases can affect any of the structures of your heart, including:

  • Blood vessels
  • Heart chambers
  • Heart valves

What are the symptoms of congenital heart disease?

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).

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How is congenital heart disease 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.

Common treatments and procedures related to congenital heart disease include:

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.

Having chest pain?

In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number. If you are unable to do so, ask someone to call for you or to take you to the nearest emergency care facility. You may go to any hospital in your area for emergency care.

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