A Guide to Understanding Some Common Congenital Heart Problems

  • Congenital heart problems refer to a wide gamut of structural heart defects and malformations that are present since birth. The heart of a baby is formed in the first 8 weeks post conception. However, in some cases, it does not develop completely, leading to structural malformations. As per the leading child heart specialist in Thane, the birth prevalence of congenital heart diseases in India is about 9 in 1000 which suggests that nearly 2,00,000 children are born with such defect in India, annually. Most of these are usually detected before birth however, those which go undetected initially may be detected later, at the time of birth.

    Here are 4 common congenital heart problems, as listed by the best cardiologist in Thane.

    ·       Aortic stenosis- Aortic valve stenosis is a condition marked by a severe obstruction in the aortic valve which prevents the free flow of blood through it. The condition can be congenital or may be developed later in life, owing to unhealthy lifestyle practices. As far as congenital aortic valve stenosis is concerned, the condition primarily develops during the first 8 weeks post conception. The aortic valve is one of the four major valves of the heart, responsible for the flow of oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the different parts of the body. This flow of blood is regulated by the opening and closing of the aortic flaps. However, in babies with aortic valve stenosis, the valve is very narrow and the flaps are usually fused together. Owing to this, the oxygen-rich blood is not able to reach the body

    ·       Ventricular septal defect- A ventricular septal defect refers to a hole or perforation in the wall or septum, separating the lower chambers of the heart, i.e. the ventricles. Usually, the children with the ventricular septal defect are asymptomatic, which means that they do not experience any of the symptoms. One of the major symptoms of ventricular septal defect is heart murmur, which can be clearly heard while using a stethoscope. Larger the size of the hole, greater the risks of congestive heart failure, which can result from the backward flow of blood to the lungs. Children with large ventricular septal defects are likely to have an elevated heart rate and are usually underweight. Treatment for the ventricular septal defect is offered at the leading cardiology hospital in Thane.

    ·       Atrial septal defect- An atrial septal defect refers to a hole in the septum separating the atria i.e. the upper chambers of the heart. An atrial septal defect can be of 4 different types depending upon the location of the hole. In most of the cases, the child is asymptomatic however some children show symptoms like breathlessness, fatigue and cold sweats. While the smaller holes close on their own with time, larger ones might require a surgical repair. This can be done using interventional cardiac catheterization.

    ·       Pulmonary valve stenosis- Just like the aortic valve stenosis refers to an obstruction in the aortic valve, pulmonary valve stenosis refers to a severe blockage in the pulmonary valve, which is one of the 4 major valves of the heart. Children with pulmonary valve stenosis either have narrowed pulmonary valve or their flaps are fused together, both of which hinder the free flow of blood. The condition is likely to produce heart murmur, an additional sound of the heart, apart from the regular beats. If the problem progresses, it can lead to increased pressure on the right side of the heart, as a result of which the ventricular muscle becomes thick. Treatment for the same is offered at some of the leading hospitals in India, including Jupiter Hospital.

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