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Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Women holding her daughter sitting on a tree branch.
Women holding her daughter sitting on a tree branch.

Why choose 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 were cured by treatment they received as a child. Studies show, however, that less than 30% [1] 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 and even sudden cardiac death. Congenital heart disease may adversely affect pregnancies or increase the risk of heart disease in offspring. 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 scans, MRI scans and echocardiogram (ECHO - an ultrasound of the heart) as well as interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, electrophysiologists, pulmonary hypertension specialists, geneticists and heart failure and transplant cardiologists, all with special knowledge about congenital heart disease. Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists have extensive experience caring for expectant mothers with congenital heart disease.

Over the years, we have become recognized as a referral center for complex patients with congenital heart defects. Our physicians hold additional board certification in adult congenital heart disease.

Keep in mind that adult congenital heart disease heart problems are different from “typical” adult heart problems. You need a team of cardiologists and doctors who specialize in adult congenital heart disease. Our dedicated professionals have made it their mission to provide elite level outcomes for every congenital heart disease patient. Learn more about our patients' high survival rates.

Ochsner is dedicated to providing a seamless approach to treating children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). Learn more about Ochsner's care of congenital heart disease in children.

These days, the majority of babies born with congenital heart disease 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.

Ochsner offers state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures, including:

  • Echocardiography and fetal echocardiography
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Cardiac CT
  • Stress testing
  • CPX (cardiopulmonary stress testing)
  • Cardiac catheterizations ­(diagnostic and interventional)
  • Electrophysiology tests (EP) - a test conducted to evaluate your heart's electrical system or activity and used to diagnose abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmia.
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator placement and management

Family Planning and High-Risk Pregnancy Management

What forms of birth control can be risky for women with complex congenital heart disease? 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? 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
  • Exercise guidelines
  • Work restrictions, if applicable
  • Recommendations regarding birth control and pregnancy
  • When you should contact your doctor

Types of Heart Disease

If you have one of the conditions listed below, you should have periodic heart checks. A visit to an adult congenital heart disease program such as Ochsner’s is recommended to verify your diagnosis and health status, but long-term cardiac care can often be provided by your local cardiologist.

Repaired conditions:

  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Secundum atrial septal defect
  • Ventricular septal defect

Repaired or unrepaired conditions:

  • Aortic valve disease: aortic stenosis or aortic insufficiency
  • Mitral valve disease: mitral stenosis or mitral insufficiency
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Pulmonic valve disease: pulmonic stenosis or pulmonic insufficiency

If you have one of the conditions listed below, you should be seen every one to two years or more frequently at an adult congenital heart disease program such as Ochsner’s.

Repaired or unrepaired conditions:

  • Anomalous left coronary artery from pulmonary artery
  • Anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (partial or total)
  • Atrioventricular canal/septal defects (partial or complete)
  • Ostium primum or sinus venosus ASDs
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Infundibular right ventricular overflow obstruction (moderate to severe)
  • Pulmonary valve regurgitation (moderate to severe)
  • Pulmonic value stenosis (moderate to severe)
  • Sinus of Valsalva fistula/aneurysm
  • Subvalvar or supravalvar aortic stenosis
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Ventricular septal defect with any valve problems and/or obstructions

Patients with these conditions should to be seen every year or more frequently at an adult congenital heart program.

Repaired or unrepaired conditions:

  • Congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries
  • Double outlet ventricle
  • Mitral atresia
  • Pulmonary atresia (all forms)
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Shone’s syndrome
  • Single Ventricle – all forms (including but not limited to tricuspid atresia, double-inlet ventricle, hypoplastic left heart syndrome)
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Truncus arterious/hemitruncus

All patients who have undergone any of the following procedures

  • Arterial switch procedure
  • Blalock-Taussig shunt
  • Any conduit(s), valved or nonvalved
  • Fontan procedure
  • Mustard procedure
  • Norwood procedure
  • Rastelli procedure
  • Senning procedure

We also treat also treat all patients with Eisenmenger syndrome and who are cyanotic (“blue babies”).

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Locations

Heart & Vascular Center of Acadiana
155 Hospital Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.-noon
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Health Center for Children - Lafayette
1016 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.-noon
Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7