A Look at Congenital Heart Conditions

Stethoscope & heart

Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the structure of the heart that are present before birth. These conditions can involve the interior walls of the heart, the valves inside the heart, or the arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart or the body. While many of these congenital conditions do not need treatment or can be easily corrected, some defects require special medical attention immediately after birth. Some of the most common types of congenital heart defects include:

  • Aortic stenosis
    The aortic valve is a three-cusp valve located between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta. Aortic stenosis can be the result of a birth defect, leaving the valve with only one or two cusps.
  • Atrial septal defect
    ASD is an abnormality in the atria of the heart in which the wall between the left and right chambers is not completely closed. This allows blood to bypass the lungs and may eventually cause disabilities later in life.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
    The ductus arteriosus is a small passageway connecting the pulmonary artery and the aorta, which is open at birth but closes within a few hours. Patent ductus arteriosus is a defect that results in this passageway remaining open, causing blood to travel in the wrong direction between the aorta and pulmonary artery.

The diagnosis and treatment of complex congenital heart defects has improved greatly thanks to recent advances in medicine and technology. Almost all children born with these conditions thrive into adulthood and live active lives. Good Samaritan Hospital offers new babies and their families the security of a Level III NICU. If you would like to learn more about the services we provide to the community of San Jose, CA, contact us at (408) 559-2011.

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