The management of Congenital Heart Diseases in Adults
Adults with a history of congenital heart disease should be followed up routinely by pediatric and congenital cardiologists with experience in the care of such patients. Women of reproductive age, who have undergone interventions for congenital heart disease in childhood, should discuss methods of contraception (when necessary) and also discuss the wish for pregnancy and whether this would be safe for them and their child. This will ensure the most detailed and regular follow up and treatment during their pregnancy so they can give birth without problems that might impact on them or their newborn.
Patients with congenital heart disease should be aware of their problem, what interventions they have already been submitted on and have regular follow-up by specialists, in order to detect immediately any change in their condition. This will ensure a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy.
There are cases of congenital heart disease (such as atrial septal defects, partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage, bicuspid aortic valve), that are discovered during adulthood. It is very important for these cases to be referred to specialist Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons with expertise in Congenital Heart Disease for diagnosis and treatment.
When an adult with treated congenital heart disease is referred to a specialist doctor for the first time, he should have with him all the relevant diagnostic tests and operation notes from the past.