Why Ochsner for Care of Congenital Heart Disease in Adults?
Congenital Heart disease is a heart disease you are born with – not something you acquire later in life. Many adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) believe they've either outgrown their condition or that they were cured by treatment they received as a child. Studies show, however, that less than 30%  of adults born with CHD are receiving the care they need from specialty ACHD programs. Patients who don’t receive monitoring in adulthood are at a higher risk for irregular heartbeats, blood clots, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, and even sudden cardiac death. Ochsner is the only program in the region treating adults with congenital heart patients in an adult setting.
Ochsner’s internationally renowned team includes advanced imaging specialists with expertise in CT, MRI and ECHO as well as interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, pulmonary hypertension specialists, and heart failure and transplant cardiologists, all with special knowledge about CHD.
Over the years, we have become recognized as a referral center for complex patients with congenital heart defects. Our physicians hold an additional board certification in adult congenital heart disease.
Keep in mind that ACHD heart problems are different from “typical” adult heart problems. You need a team of cardiologists and doctors who specialize in ACHD.
Conditions and Congenital Heart Disease Care Guidelines
These days, the majority of babies born with CHD can expect to live into adulthood and enjoy happy, productive, lives. Still, as many as 85% of ACHD patients have moderate-to-severe defects that have been repaired but not completely corrected. Lifelong monitoring is essential. See below for a list of conditions with care guidelines recommended by the Adult Congenital Heart Association.
Cardiac Catheterizations (diagnostic and interventional)
EP Tests (electrophysiology studies)
Family Planning and High-Risk Pregnancy Management
What forms of birth control can be risky for women with complex CHD? Will having a baby put your health at risk? Can a mother or a father pass down their condition to their children? At Ochsner, we offer comprehensive treatment for patients facing family planning issues and require high-risk pregnancy management. You have questions. Ochsner doctors have answers.
Protecting Your Heart From Infection
Is endocarditis (heart infection) something you really have to think about? Should you take antibiotics before you go to the dentist or undergo any other procedure? Endocarditis is a serious condition caused by bacteria growing in the heart. Even if your heart condition has been repaired or hasn't caused symptoms, you may be at risk. If you’re not sure if you need to take special precautions, you need to ask your doctor.
Know Your Heart
Take charge of your heart health. Make sure you know and understand the following:
Details about your heart condition
Your past treatment, test results and surgical records
Information about your medications, including possible side effects
Work restrictions, if applicable
When you should contact your doctor
 Marelli AJ, Mackie AS, Ionescu-Ittu R, Rahme E, Pilote L. CHD in the general population: changing prevalence and age distribution. Circulation. 2007;115:163–172.
ACHD Care Guidelines: How Often Should You See A Doctor?
If you have one of the conditions listed below, you should have periodic heart checks. A visit to an ACDH program such as Ochsner’s is recommended to verify your diagnosis and health status. Typically, we follow patients with their local cardiologist providing comprehensive care.