Diagnosing Congenital Heart Disease in Williamsport, PA
Congenital heart defects occur when the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally before birth. The cause is unknown, but sometimes it is attributed to viral infection or hereditary causes.
The most common congenital heart defect is an atrial septal defect or ASD. This is a small hole between the two collecting chambers of the heart. With surgery, it can be repaired to prevent blood from travelling from the left to the right side of the heart or vice versa.
UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers excellence in care to diagnose and treat congenital heart disease in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.
Symptoms of congenital heart disease may not be recognizable until much later in life. In some cases, they can occur many years after a person has undergone treatment for a heart defect. Congenital heart disease symptoms may include:
- Arrhythmias—abnormal heart rhythms
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic fatigue
- Dizziness or faintness
- Swelling in certain parts of the body
- A bluish color to the skin (cyanosis)
To learn more about these symptoms, Find a Provider at UPMC Susquehanna.
There are many disorders that fall under congenital heart disease. The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has skilled cardiology providers that treat a wide range of conditions. These fall into three major categories: obstructive, septal and cyanotic.
Types of obstructive defects include:
- Aortic stenosis
- Pulmonary stenosis
- Bicuspid aortic valve
- Subaortic stenosis
- Coarctation of the aorta
Septal defects can include:
- Atrial septal defect (the most common heart defect)
- Ebstein’s anomaly
- Ventricular septal defect
Examples of cyanotic defects include:
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Tricuspid atresia
- Transposition of the great arteries
Treatment will depend on the type of congenital heart defect a person has. Some individuals may be able to make small changes to their lifestyle, and some will require surgical procedures from one of our cardiothoracic surgeons.
Treatment for a congenital heart defect may include:
- Regular checkups for minor heart defects
- Medication for mild congenital heart problems
- Implantable heart devices, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
- Catheter procedures to repair some heart defects without surgically opening the chest
- Open-heart surgery if catheter-based surgery isn’t an option
- Heart transplant for a serious heart defect that can’t be repaired
Speak with a Williamsport cardiologist at UPMC to learn more about how we diagnose, treat and manage heart conditions like congenital heart disease. Early detection is often very helpful in an effective treatment plan.
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is committed to providing access to the latest tests, therapies and procedures to treat congenital heart defects in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.