Sometimes congenital heart disease can be adequately managed through lifestyle changes or medication. In more serious cases, however, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Changes in lifestyle, including dieting, quitting smoking and losing weight, may help you control symptoms of heart failure or valve disease resulting from a congenital defect.
Sometimes, symptoms caused by your congenital defect can be managed through medications. Your doctor may prescribe medications to:
- lower your clotting risk (eg, aspirin)
- reduce blood pressure (eg, beta blockers)
- control heart rate (eg, beta blockers)
- reduce fluid retention (eg, diuretics)
Procedures & Surgery
The goal for treating congenital heart disease through surgery is to repair defects, reduce symptoms and prevent progression or complications. Some examples of defects that can be treated through surgery include:
- Atrial septal defects which can be closed with a synthetic patch or stitches.
- Narrowed portions of the aorta (coarctations) can be removed and, in some cases, replaced with a synthetic graft.
- Heart valves can be repaired or replaced with tissue or mechanical valves. New percutaneous techniques may allow the valves to be replaced without open heart surgery.