Capital Pediatric Cardiology

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease services offered throughout Central California

Congenital heart disease care in children varies depending on their condition and its severity. Some don’t require treatment; others need prompt attention. The Capital Pediatric Cardiology team offers expert congenital heart disease diagnosis and treatment at offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Modesto, Placerville, Cameron Park, Stockton, Chico, Anderson, and Reading, California. Call your nearest location or request an appointment via the online scheduling tool today for prompt, compassionate care.

What is congenital heart disease?

Congenital heart disease develops in the womb before a baby’s born. It affects their heart’s structure, causing defects and sometimes leading to severe heart problems.

Many forms of congenital heart disease exist, including:

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Congenital mitral valve anomalies
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome
  • Congenital heart valve problems

Heart valves are doorways between the heart’s blood vessels and chambers that open and close, allowing blood to flow in the right direction. Heart valve problems include regurgitation (where the valves don’t close properly) and stenosis (narrowed heart valves that don’t open completely).

Congenital heart disease may also allow blood to flow where it shouldn’t. Holes in the walls between the heart’s chambers are a typical example of this type of defect. These abnormal connections cause oxygen-poor and -rich blood to mix, lowering the amount of oxygen circulating through the body and making the heart and lungs work harder.

What symptoms does congenital heart disease cause?

Serious congenital heart disease causes symptoms soon after birth or in infancy. They could include:

  • Cyanosis (pale gray or blue lips, fingernails, and/or tongue)
  • Fast breathing
  • Swollen legs or abdomen
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Shortness of breath when feeding
  • Poor weight gain

Children with less severe congenital heart disease may not display symptoms until later in childhood. They might get short of breath when physically active, tire easily, and even faint when exercising. Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet is another sign of heart problems.

How is congenital heart disease treated?

After a comprehensive evaluation, your child’s Capital Pediatric Cardiology provider prepares a personalized treatment plan that may include the following:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Diuretics (water pills to limit fluid buildup)
  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization procedures use minimally invasive methods. The Capital Pediatric Cardiology team accesses your child’s heart through a large vein using a slender, flexible pipe (catheter). They use specialized techniques to repair holes and narrowing, so surgery is only necessary for the most severe congenital heart disease.

Call Capital Pediatric Cardiology or request an appointment online today for expert congenital heart disease diagnosis and treatment.