It is not uncommon for people born with heart disease and treated as children to "get lost in the healthcare system" after age 25. Yet today, there are more adults living with congenital heart disease than children with those disorders. And that number is expected to grow, so that by 2020, operations on adults with congenital heart disease are expected to account for 20 percent of all congenital heart surgery procedures performed worldwide.
The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Surgeons are leaders in the treatment of patients with adult congenital heart disease — both those with congenital heart disease who were not diagnosed until adulthood, as well as those who had congenital heart surgery as children and who need an additional procedure as an adult. Patients are able to receive their care in a hospital setting designed for adults, without having to stay in a children's hospital.
Key to the success of our program is a close collaboration between cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, and interventional cardiologists who work together to assemble a regimen of care for each patient. That care may require:
- repair of previously undiagnosed congenital heart disease that did not cause symptoms until adulthood, such as a septal defect (hole in the heart) which can cause shortness of breath, arrhythmias, or stroke in adulthood
- revision of a surgical repair that was originally performed in childhood
- treatment of adult heart disease that developed as a result of the congenital condition
At Weill Cornell, we specialize in the treatment of all forms of adult congenital heart disease, including:
- aortic valve stenosis and insufficiency
- atrioventricular canal defects
- coarctation of the aorta
- conduit revisions
- Ebstein's anomaly
- ostium primum and secundum atrial septal defects, including patent foramen ovale
- patent ductus arteriosus
- pulmonary artery stenosis and regurgitation
- pulmonary atresia
- single ventricle
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- transposition of the great arteries
In addition to superior surgery, patients benefit from comprehensive care that includes rehabilitation, psychosocial, and nutritional support to return them to an optimal quality of life.