Congenital Heart Conditions We Treat
Congenital heart conditions are problems that develop before a baby is born. These issues affect how blood flows through the heart and the heart’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body. Our experts detect and treat most problems during childhood. Some conditions return in adulthood, even after years of symptom-free living, or they complicate care for other medical issues.
- Cedars-Sinai offers one of the top teams on the West Coast for common and complex congenital heart conditions.
- Our cardiologists, heart surgeons and imaging specialists accurately diagnose problems, in some cases, before a child is born.
- We develop relationships with our patients that extend well into adulthood.
- Doctors, parents and adult patients from across the region put their trust in our program.
Types of congenital heart conditions we treat include:
Congenital heart valve disorders
Heart valves are tissue flaps that snap open and shut, pushing blood through your heart and out to the body. Congenital heart valve disorders we treat include:
- Aortic stenosis, heart valves that become narrow or blocked
- Bicuspid aortic disease, problems that affect a valve’s ability to open and close
- Ebstein anomaly, issues with the valve separating the top and bottom right portion of the heart
- Mitral valve regurgitation, heart valve that doesn’t fully shut, allowing blood to flow back into the heart instead of out to the body
- Pulmonary atresia, defect in the pulmonary valve that prevents blood from flowing to the lungs
- Pulmonary stenosis, when heart valves don’t fully open, making it difficult for blood to pass through
- Tricuspid atresia, when the tricuspid valve does not develop, making it difficult for blood and oxygen to flow out to the body
This group of conditions affects the heart’s electrical system, which controls your heartbeat. Congenital forms of arrhythmia include:
- Premature ventricular contractions, when part of the heart reacts too early to electrical signals prompting it to beat
- Sinus bradycardia, abnormally slow heartbeat
- Syncope, brief loss of consciousness (fainting) when the brain isn’t getting enough blood
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, unusually fast heartbeat that suddenly stops and starts and can occur at any age
Structural heart defects
These problems affect the walls of the heart and the major arteries through which blood flows. Structural heart defects we treat include:
- Atrial septal defect, opening in the wall separating the top two chambers of the heart
- Coarctation of the aorta, narrowing in the major artery through which blood leaves the heart
- Double outlet right ventricle, when two major arteries connect to the same area of the heart, causing low-oxygen blood to flow to the body
- Hypoplastic aortic arch, blockage in the major artery leaving the heart (aorta) that disrupts blood flow
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, life-threatening condition affecting valves, the aorta and the heart’s ability to pump blood out to the body
- Patent ductus arteriosus, when the opening in the heart that all babies are born with doesn’t close after birth
- Tetralogy of Fallot, life-threatening group of conditions affecting certain arteries and heart walls leading to low blood-oxygen levels
- Transposition of the great arteries, when major arteries are in the wrong position, causing blood to return to the heart and not flow out to the body
- Truncus arteriosus, connection among major arteries that should be separate
- Ventricular septal defect, hole in the bottom part of the heart that can cause high blood pressure in the lungs and low oxygen levels in the body
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease can put you at risk for heart problems later in life, including:
- Arrhythmias, a group of conditions causing an abnormal heart rhythm
- Bacterial endocarditis, infection in the inner layers of the heart or valves
- Coronary heart disease, buildups of fatty deposits that cause narrowing in the heart’s arteries
- Heart failure, when heart muscles become so weak they no longer pump blood effectively
- Heart valve diseases, flaps of tissue (valves) that are supposed to control blood flow but don’t function as they should
- Pregnancy with congenital heart disease, as pregnant women with heart problems face a higher risk of complications that can affect their health or their unborn child
Evaluation and Diagnosis
At Cedars-Sinai, adults and children with congenital heart disease are in expert hands. Our team includes world-renowned doctors who treat common and complex heart defects. We develop personalized care plans that start by accurately diagnosing the problem.
We work together to perform a comprehensive evaluation with sophisticated tests that may include:
Advanced Evaluation (Cardiac Catheterization)
We use this technique to evaluate problems in ways that are not possible with other tests. In some cases, we assess a problem and treat it during the same procedure. Find out more about congenital heart disease treatments.
Fetal Cardiac Evaluation and Diagnosis
We often detect congenital heart problems before a child is born, giving us time to coordinate the services your child may need after birth. We perform a comprehensive evaluation that may include fetal echocardiography and genetic testing.
Cardiac Nuclear Studies
Cedars-Sinai offers nuclear studies, a sophisticated testing option that’s not commonly available for pediatric patients. Our experts are among the world’s leading cardiac nuclear medicine experts, so you can trust us for safe, accurate testing.
We inject small, safe amounts of radioactive substance into the bloodstream. The substance emits energy that’s detected by an imaging device, highlighting any problems. We can accurately evaluate heart muscle functioning and blood flow. Find out more about nuclear cardiology.
Other congenital heart disease tests and evaluation services include:
Cedars-Sinai is among the nation’s leading congenital heart disease programs. Patients trust us because we offer a superior level of care for pediatric and adult conditions. Patients have access to a broad range of therapies, including lifesaving heart surgery and sophisticated minimally invasive procedures.
Highlights of our program include:
- Treatments from leading pediatric and adult congenital heart disease experts
- Care tailored to each patient’s unique needs, including comprehensive testing and leading therapies
- Opportunities to receive innovative new treatments through congenital heart disease clinical trials
- Support from nurse navigators and social workers who help ease the burden of living with congenital heart disease
Congenital Heart Disease Treatments
Adult congenital heart disease care
We treat new symptoms of old problems, such as leaky heart valves, in adults with congenital heart disease. We also deliver comprehensive care for heart conditions that come with age, including an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Explore adult congenital heart disease services.
Advanced heart failure care
Adults and adolescents at risk for heart failure receive advanced care from our nationally recognized team of experts. We offer the full range of treatments, including devices that help your heart pump. Cedars-Sinai is also home to a nationally recognized heart transplant program. Get more information about heart failure.
Complex heart defect repairs
Our team includes some of the most experienced pediatric congenital heart surgeons on the West Coast. We regularly care for children with life-threatening heart defects, including tetralogy of Fallot. Patients have access to the full range of complex defect repairs, including the Fontan procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Learn more about pediatric congenital heart disease surgery.
Septal defect closure
We deliver leading care for septal defects, which are holes in the walls separating different areas of the heart. Our team performs minimally invasive procedures to close septal defects in premature babies. Find out more about trans-catheter septal defect closure.
Valve repair and replacement
Our internationally recognized doctors offer an exceptional level of care for narrow and leaky heart valves. Many patients receive valve repair or replacement procedures that use minimally invasive methods, such as cardiac catheterization. This technique is gentler on the body and leads to a quicker recovery. Read more about heart valve diseases.
Vascular disease treatment
Congenital heart conditions such as coarctation of the aorta can lead to narrowing or blockages in the blood vessels supplying the heart. We restore blood flow with treatments that may include stents, mesh devices that keep blood vessel walls open.