Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital Heart Disease
Lifelong Care for Adults with Structural Heart Conditions
Congenital heart disease is a structural defect in the heart’s chambers, valves or surrounding blood vessels that is present at birth. The defect disrupts the normal flow of blood through the heart.
Often, severe heart defects are diagnosed in the womb or immediately after birth, but some may not show until later in life. Even if the defect was repaired or never caused symptoms in childhood, it may still require ongoing care. Symptoms of congenital heart disease in adults include:
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Bluish coloring of the skin, lips and fingernails
- Feeling out of breath and tiring quickly after physical exertion
- Fluid buildup in the lungs
- Swelling in the neck, abdomen, lower legs and feet
The cardiovascular experts at Hackensack Meridian Health provide comprehensive services for congenital heart disease and structural heart conditions. As a cardiovascular leader in New Jersey, patients receive complete care from diagnosis through treatment, rehabilitation and recovery.
With innovative surgical procedures available at two major academic medical centers and highly coordinated care at several conveniently located community hospitals, patients have access to everything they need, close by.
Award-Winning, Nationally Recognized Cardiovascular Care in New Jersey
Hospitals in our integrated network are recognized among the best. In fact, Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked among the nation’s top 50 heart hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — the highest in New Jersey for cardiology and heart surgery.
Types of Congenital Heart Defects We Treat
Our multidisciplinary teams of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, cardiac nurses, imaging technologists, and other cardiovascular professionals treat all types of congenital heart disease.
There are many types of congenital heart diseases, but some of the more common conditions in adults include:
- Aortic valve stenosis – The valve in the aorta, the major artery in the heart, doesn’t open and close properly
- Atrial septal defect – An opening in the wall, or septum, between the upper chambers of the heart
- Coarctation of the aorta – Narrowing of the aorta
- Mitral valve prolapse – Flaps of the valve open backward
- Mitral valve stenosis – Flaps of the valve thicken or fuse together
- Patent foramen ovale – An opening in the wall between the upper chambers of the heart that does not close properly during development
- Ventrical septal defect – An opening in the wall between the lower chambers of the heart
Innovative Congenital Heart Disease Diagnosis
To diagnose congenital heart disease, the cardiologist may use one or more non-invasive cardiac diagnostic tests, like electrocardiography (ECG or EKG).
If further evaluation is needed, we can perform state-of-the-art minimally invasive diagnostic tests including cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology testing within our network. Often, we can diagnose and treat congenital heart disease at the same time, without requiring invasive surgery.
Treating and Managing Congenital Heart Disease in Adults
Our cardiologists and surgeons are on the forefront of heart and vascular research and innovation, which means patients get the latest, most effective treatments available.
We not only provide ongoing monitoring and expert guidance for a lifetime, we also offer innovative non-invasive, minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical treatments that are not available nearby. Treatments for congenital heart disease can include:
- Cardiac rehabilitation – Medically supervised program that helps patients recover from surgery, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and prevent serious heart problems in the future
- Electrophysiology – Minimally invasive techniques such as catheter ablation and the latest technology in implantable cardiac devices
- Interventional cardiology techniques – Image-guided, minimally invasive procedures such as angioplasty with stent placement and valvuloplasty
- Heart failure and pulmonary hypertension care – Coordinated treatment and education from a team of cardiologists, nurses, physical therapists and dietitians
- Heart surgery – Unique heart and valve procedures such as minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device
Hackensack Meridian Health also provides comprehensive heart care for children, with congenital heart defects from infancy to adolescence at two pediatric hospitals. When a child is ready for adult care, our pediatric and adult heart specialists work together to provide a smooth transition within our integrated network.
Bayshore Medical Center
Hackensack University Medical Center
Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Mountainside Medical Center
Ocean Medical Center
Palisades Medical Center
Pascack Valley Medical Center
Raritan Bay Medical Center – Old Bridge
Riverview Medical Center
Southern Ocean Medical Center