Congenital Heart Diseases
Congenital heart diseases are the heart diseases that are congenital in the heart. The occurrence of heart diseases in the womb is a very common condition. Many heart diseases can also be congenital. Most congenital heart diseases are caused by the abnormal flow of blood in the heart. Problems with the heart valves and muscles can also be seen congenitally. There can be congenital abnormalities in the holes between the heart chambers, in the heart vessels. In some patients, several of these problems can coexist. Therefore, we can say that congenital heart diseases do not have one or a few, but dozens of types. You can continue to read the rest of our article to learn why congenital heart diseases occur and their treatment. For detailed information about congenital heart diseases, you can contact clinic of Prof. Basri Amasyalı in Ankara.
What Causes Congenital Heart Diseases?
The cause of congenital heart disease is often unknown. However, it is known that some conditions that affect the pregnancy process increase the risk of congenital heart disease. Congenital heart diseases usually occur within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. For this reason, drug use in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, etc. unnatural processes can pave the way for the development of congenital heart diseases. In this process, exposure to intense X-rays and catching diseases such as rubella also increase the risk of heart disease in the baby.
It is known that genetic codes also have an effect on congenital heart diseases. Therefore, these risks are higher in those with consanguineous marriages. Having heart disease in the mother or father increases the rate of congenital heart disease in the baby up to 10%. If siblings also have heart disease, the risk of developing heart disease in the child is 3-4 times higher.
What are Congenital Heart Diseases?
Many diseases in the heart valves, vessels, blood flow and heart muscles can occur congenitally. Congenital heart diseases can be divided into “acyanotic” and “cyanotic”.
Acyanotic congenital heart diseases are the heart diseases that do not cause bruising in the body. The most common heart holes, ASD (atrial septal defect), VSD (ventricular septal defect) and PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) diseases are in this group. In these diseases, there is a flow of blood between the two parts of the heart that will not normally exist. In the early stages of these diseases, bruises do not occur in the body because clean blood mixes with dirty blood. This group of diseases does not show any symptoms for many years. Therefore, patients live for years without realizing it, and the disease is noticed in a significant part of them during a control. In acyanotic congenital heart diseases, problems can also develop in the valves of the heart.
Cyanotic congenital heart diseases are the heart diseases that cause bruises in certain parts of the body (hands and fingertips, toes, lips). In this group of diseases, the dirty blood in the heart is transmitted to the clean blood. Therefore, bruises occur on the body. The most common cyanotic heart disease is the so-called tetralogy of fallot. Cyanotic congenital heart diseases are very dangerous heart diseases that shorten the life of the patient. If not treated in time, the majority of children born with cyanotic disease do not live long.
How Congenital Heart Diseases Are Diagnosed?
The patient with suspected heart disease should be examined in detail. Whether there is a murmur in the heart, the condition of the valves and heart muscles should be examined. At this point, it is echocardiography that gives the most definitive results. By means of the echocardiography, the vessels and heart tissues leading to the heart can be clearly examined and it can be understood to what extent they fulfill their functions.
By means of today’s developing technology, it is possible to diagnose heart diseases during pregnancy. With the method called “fetal echocardiography”, it can be detected in the early period whether the baby has any heart disease. In fact, if the patient is suitable for treatment, treatment can be started before the baby is born. With fetal echocardiography, the best images are obtained between 20 and 24 weeks. However, if the heart problem is serious, it is possible to take images from the 14th week.
Treatment of Congenital Heart Diseases
In the past, almost all congenital heart diseases were treated with open heart surgery. However, nowadays some abnormalities are called “catheter method” etc. It can be done with special treatment methods. The hole in the heart seen in ASD, VSD and PDA, which are the most common congenital heart diseases, can be closed in as little as half an hour with umbrella-style devices placed by the catheter method from the inguinal region. In this way, patients are saved from open heart surgery. In some congenital heart diseases, if the problem is not serious and progresses with a mild course, drug treatments can also be effective. The treatment of congenital heart diseases should be planned completely individually. The severity of the symptoms and the course of the disease are different in each patient. For this reason, the evaluation of a specialist physician is very important in the treatment of congenital heart diseases. In Ankara, you can contact our clinic to get information about congenital heart diseases and make an appointment.