Dr. James Hill treats Ariel, who was born with an atrioventricular canal defect.
Not everyone with a congenital heart defect (CHD) requires treatment. Some people may only need to visit a cardiologist and stay under observation. In other cases, surgery or a cardiac catheterization may be needed to reduce the effects of the heart defect, or to repair the defect. Even when a defect is treated in childhood, the condition can change over time and additional medical treatment may be beneficial.
Many medical treatments are available to help the heart perform at its best. Sometimes one child may have multiple conditions and each issue may require medication for treatment.
Children and adults with congenital heart defects may need medical treatment for a number of common conditions, including:
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart rhythm problems
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Interventional cardiac catheterizations
Care and treatment options for congenital heart defects include:
- Surgical procedures
- Cardiac catheterizations
- Heart transplants
- Preparing children for surgery
- Feeding tips for your baby with CHD
- Special needs for children with CHD
- Physical activity for those with congenital heart defects
- Heart-health recommendations for those with CHD
If you are a parent caring for a child with a congenital heart defect, the American Heart Association wants to be there for you. See our resources for caregivers as well as our peer-to-peer Support Network.