Overview of Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease is an abnormality in the structure of the heart from birth that presents in childhood. Although the term "heart defect" can refer to many different heart problems, it's often used to talk about defects affecting the wall (septum) that divides the two upper or two lower chambers of the heart, or problems with heart valves. Some of the more common defects are:

Treatments for Congenital Heart Disease

Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Possible treatments for this condition include:

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

    Some patients with a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart (ASD, PFO) have clinical symptoms that warrant closure of the hole. This can be accomplished either by open heart surgery or by a cardiac cath lab procedure.

  • Heart Valve Repair/Replacement

    Heart valve repair/replacement includes open heart surgery and catheter-based procedures that are used to repair or replace diseased heart valves.

Learn about Congenital Heart Defects

What is a Congenital Heart Defect?

What is a congenital heart defect? When the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally before birth, a condition called congenital heart defect occurs (congenital means "existing at...

Factors Contributing to Congenital Heart Disease

What causes congenital heart disease? A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a heart problem which is present at birth. It is caused by abnormal formation of the heart during fetal development. In most ca...

Congenital Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association, about nine of every 1,000 babies born in the United States have a congenital (present at birth) heart defect. This is a problem that occurs as the baby's h...

Learn about Heart Care

How Much Do You Know About Coronary Artery Disease and Angioplasty?

How Much Do You Know About Coronary Artery Disease and Angioplasty? Coronary artery disease (CAD) plays a major role in the leading cause of death in this country: heart attack. CAD is also known as ...

Heart Disease: How Disease Management Helps

Regular physical activity and a heart-healthy diet are two essential components of managing heart disease. On some days, though, it may be difficult to keep up with your exercise routine or meal plan....

What is an Arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia? An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of the heart chambers by: Not allowing the ventricles (lower chambers) to fill w...

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation? Normally, the heart pumps in a well-timed fashion. The two upper chambers (atria) contract first followed by the two lower chambers (ventricles). This coordinated pumping ...

Cardiac Rehabilitation

What is cardiac rehabilitation? Cardiac rehabilitation is a program to help people who have heart disease. It is overseen by a health care provider. People in this program may have had a heart attack ...

Heart Valve Diseases

What are heart valves? The heart consists of four chambers--two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers). There is a valve through which blood passes before leaving each chamber of t...

Cardiac Condition and Diseases

Many cardiac conditions require clinical care by a physician or other heart care professional. Listed in the directory below are some of these conditions, for which we have provided a brief overview. ...

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. The force is generated with each heartbeat as blood is pumped from the heart into the blood vessels. ...

What is a Heart Attack?

What is a heart attack (myocardial infarction)? A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by ...

Carotid Artery Disease

What is carotid artery disease? Carotid artery disease, also called carotid artery stenosis, occurs when the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the brain, become n...

Chest Pain- Does This Describe Your Symptoms?

Return to Index Does this describe your symptoms? Click image for more info Definition Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or other pain in the chest This includes the area from the clavicles...

High Cholesterol

Does this test have other names? High-density lipoprotein cholesterol What is this test? An HDL cholesterol test measures the amount of high-density lipoprotein ("good") cholesterol in your blood. Hig...