Congenital Heart Defects Therapy

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Congenital Heart Defects Therapy
Congenital Heart Defects Therapy

Video: Congenital Heart Defects Therapy

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Video: Congenital Heart Disease – Cardiology | Lecturio 2023, January
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Congenital heart defects: symptoms, diagnosis, therapy

Congenital heart defects can be very diverse, affect only one or more parts of the heart (e.g. the heart valves, the septum) or the vessels near the heart. An early diagnosis is important in order to have suitable measures taken in good time. As a result of the great advances in the treatment of congenital heart defects over the past few decades, around 90 percent of the affected children survive and reach adulthood.

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  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is congenital heart defects treated?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

The possible consequences of a congenital heart defect are:

  • Small defects: they often do not cause any discomfort, in some cases only a heart murmur can be detected.
  • Larger defects: The following symptoms, among others, can occur:

    • Blue rash (cyanosis),
    • rapid breathing,
    • increased sweating,
    • Drinking difficulties,
    • Failure to thrive,
    • increased respiratory infections,
    • Cardiac arrhythmias,
    • Blood pressure disorders,
    • Water retention (edema).

How is the diagnosis made?

Congenital heart defects should be detected as early as possible in order to be able to plan or carry out suitable measures such as operations in good time. Many serious heart defects can be detected using ultrasound before birth. After the birth, listening to the heart with a stethoscope, an EKG and a heart ultrasound are particularly helpful. For complex errors, a cardiac catheter examination or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also carried out.

How is congenital heart defects treated?

The consequence of many - especially larger - congenital heart defects is that the blood does not circulate as it should. Often, oxygen-rich and oxygen-deficient blood mix. The primary goal of treatment is to achieve the most normal blood circulation possible. Which measures are required in individual cases depends on the individual circumstances. The following options are available, among others:

  • Some defects heal on their own or are so small that they do not require treatment.
  • In some cases, drugs (especially prostaglandins) are used to keep connections open that normally close after birth (ductus arteriosus).
  • With cardiac surgery, for example, holes are closed with sutures or patches, constrictions are widened or blood vessels are moved. Some interventions are necessary immediately after the birth, others at a later point in time, possibly also in a multi-stage process.
  • A catheter intervention is used to implant defect closures in the form of, for example, small umbrellas (devices). In addition, constrictions of the heart valves can be widened by balloon dilatation or stents can be inserted into constricted arteries. Surgery can even be avoided for some heart defects.

Whom can I ask?

The following bodies are responsible for diagnosing congenital heart defects:

  • Specialist in gynecology and obstetrics: usually already in the context of pregnancy care,
  • Hospital gynecology and obstetrics departments,
  • Specialist in paediatrics and adolescent medicine.

The treatment of congenital heart defects is carried out in a pediatric cardiology department.

How are the costs going to be covered?

All necessary and appropriate therapies are covered by the health insurance carriers. Your doctor or the outpatient clinic will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. However, you may have to pay a deductible with certain health insurance providers (BVAEB, SVS, SVS, BVAEB). However, you can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic.

For more information, see Costs and Deductibles.

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