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Adult Congenital Heart Surgery

Congenital heart defect corrective surgeries fix or treat heart defects that a child is born with. A baby born with heart defects has congenital heart disease. Surgery is needed if the defects are dangerous to the child’s health or well-being.  If the condition is not treated during childhood, it can be difficult to find non-pediatric surgeons with expertise in congenital heart surgery. Dr. Shamsuddin Khwaja specializes in adult congenital heart surgery. 

Types of Congenital Heart Surgery

Surgery becomes necessary when non-invasive procedures fail to correct a heart defect. There are two types of congenital heart surgery:

  • Reparative congenital heart surgery: this procedure is used to correct the heart defect

  • Palliative congenital heart surgery: a surgical procedure that relieves pain but doesn’t necessarily correct the actual defect.

Reparative Congenital Heart Surgery

Some of the more common reparative procedures include:

  • Repairing or closing ventricular or atrial septal defects and atrioventricular valves. This is done with stitches or a patch (artificial or made from the patient's own tissue). More about atrial and ventricular septal defects

  • Stretching or widening the pulmonic valve and closing a ventricular septal defect to correct Tetralogy of the Fallot

  • Moving the great arteries and coronary arteries back to their normal position to cure transposition of the great arteries

  • Widening a narrow aorta to treat coarctation

Palliative Congenital Heart Surgery

Palliative surgery relieves pain and makes you feel more comfortable. Here are some common palliative surgical procedures:

  • Blalock-Taussig procedure. Here, our surgeons insert a tube to connect the aorta to the pulmonary artery to increase the flow of blood to the lungs.

  • Fontan procedure. This procedure helps patients with a single ventricle by allowing deoxygenated blood flow into the lungs and avoiding the heart. The one heart ventricle then pumps oxygenated blood.

  • Pulmonary artery band. A band is placed around the pulmonary artery in order to restrict the flow of blood to the lungs.