Mayo Clinic Cardiologists explain how the help treat the most common birth defect

Posted at 7:59 AM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 12:17:44-05

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Congenital Heart Disease with Dr. Marcotte

As one of the most common birth defects, congenital heart disease  can affect people in varying degrees from simple to complex. Congenital heart disease can occur when there is one or more abnormalities in the heart's structure, altering the way that blood flows through to a person's heart.

While people who have congenital heart disease are born with the condition, some may not show any indicating symptoms, while others might not even experience symptoms until later on in life. For adults, common symptoms of congenital heart disease include abnormal heart rhythms, a bluish tint to the skin, lips and fingernails, shortness of breath and tiring quickly upon exertion.

While minor defects may only require occasional check-ups or medications, people who have more complex defects may need a varying range of treatment including implantable heart devices, special procedures using catheters, open heart surgery and even heart transplants in the most severe cases.

If you experience any worrisome symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, seek emergency medical attention. If you have signs or symptoms of congenital heart disease or were treated for a congenital heart defect as a child, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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