A congenital heart defect
occurs when the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally before birth. Congenital heart disease affects close to 1% of the population. The spectrum of congenital heart defects ranges from clinically insignificant to major structural abnormalities that require complex surgical intervention.
In the past, children with congenital heart defects usually died before reaching adulthood. However, recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease have allowed an increasing number of children born with such defects to survive well into adulthood and to lead normal and productive lives
. These adults require ongoing specialized care that frequently is not available in many traditional adult cardiology centers.
This collaboration provides the basis for the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of adults with congenital heart disease. Through this patient centered multidisciplinary approach all aspects of diagnostic and surgical treatments are available to this unique patient population.
Dennis Mello, MD,
Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center provides the surgical leadership and expertise needed in caring for complex congenital heart disease. His team involves a vast number of expert physicians and staff who are also trained in adult and pediatric cardiovascular medicine.
The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Hartford Hospital is the only program in the area to offer this type of specialized multidisciplinary approach to treat this growing adult population. Contact information is available here