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Congenital Heart Disease

"Congenital heart defect" is another way of saying that the heart had a problem in its structure when baby is born. It may have a small hole in your heart or something more severe. Although these can be very serious conditions, many can be treated with surgery.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. The defects can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart. They can disrupt the normal flow of blood through the heart. The blood flow can slow down, go in the wrong direction or to the wrong place, or be blocked completely.

Dr. Dhairyasheel Kanase (Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon in Pune) has the expertise in treating various Congenital heart defects.He has more than 10 years of Surgical Experience and is associated with all major hospitals in Pune like K.E.M. Hospital, Poona Hospital and Research centre, N. M. Wadia Hospital of Cardiology, Ruby Hall Clinic, Jehangir Hospital and Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital as Consultant Cardiac Surgeon.

Causes of Congenital Heart Disease

  • Problems with genes or chromosomes in the child, such as Down syndrome
  • Taking certain medications or alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
  • A viral infection, such as rubella (German measles) in the mother during the first trimester of pregnancy

A physical exam and special heart tests to diagnose congenital heart defects in newborns. Most of the severe defects are often found during pregnancy or soon after birth. Signs and symptoms of severe defects in newborns include

  • Rapid breathing
  • Cyanosis - a bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails
  • Fatigue
  • Poor blood circulation

Types of Congenital Heart Problems

Most congenital heart problems are structural issues such as holes and leaky valves. For instance:

  • Heart valve defects. A valve may be too narrow or completely closed so blood has a hard time getting through or can’t get through at all. A valve might not close properly, so the blood leaks backwards.
  • Problems with the heart’s "walls," such as those between the chambers (atria and ventricles) of the heart. Holes or passageways between the left and right side of the heart might cause the blood to mix together when it shouldn’t.
  • Issues with the heart’s muscle, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Bad connections among certain blood vessels. In babies, this may let blood that should go to the lungs to get oxygen go to other parts of the body instead or vice versa. These defects can lead to heart failure, which means the heart doesn’t pump as efficiently as it should.