Care and Treatment for Congenital Heart Defects

Doctor listening to Ariel's heart

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:

Care and treatment options for congenital heart defects include:

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.