Pediatric Cardiac Surgery is a cardiac surgery done in children born with congenital heart defects. These congenital heart defects may affect the growth and overall progress of a child if not treated as the defects involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart. They can intervene with the normal blood circulation through the heart. Therefore, the Pediatric heart surgeon may opt for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery for complex heart defects in children.
The symptoms of Congenital Heart Defect which may lead you to get a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery may vary from mild to severe depend on the progression and severity of the heart defect in a child. The serious signs of that you may need a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery become clear at birth or after the few weeks of a child's birth. They include:
• Pale gray or blue skin color
• Fast breathing
• Swelling in the legs, abdomen or areas around the eyes
• Shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain
However, less serious Congenital Heart Defect may have noticeable symptoms much later, when the child grows a little older. These symptoms may include:
• Breathlessness after exercising and other physical activity
• Easy exertion with light activities
• Fainting during exercise or activity
• Swelling in the hands, ankles or feet
The main motive of getting a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery is because of the presence of Congenital Heart Defect, whose cause is still not known by the doctor. The heart of a child starts developing in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. The blood vessels surrounding the heart also develop during this time. It is during the formation of the heart that the heart defect can develop, and you may need a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. owing to several risk factors like:
• Heredity: Children who have one of their parents or siblings with a heart defect are more likely to born with a Congenital Heart Defect.
• Mutations: There are several mutations in the DNA of the human body cells that can interfere with the formation of a healthy heart.
• Other birth defects: Children born with other serious birth defects such as Down syndrome andTurner syndrome may also have to go through a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
• Viral Infections: Pregnant women contracting rubella (German Measles) during the first three months of pregnancy possess a higher risk of having a baby born with a heart defect.
• Medication: Some medications are taken by pregnant women that include elements like lithium, Accutane or anti-seizure medications also pose a threat to the child's heart formation.
• Alcohol: Pregnant women indulging hard on alcohol may have their child born with syndrome like thefetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) where children may often have with their heart
• Smoking: Women smoking during the initial weeks of the pregnancy contribute to the incomplete formation of the child's heart, as the heart starts to develop during the 6 initial weeks of pregnancy, hence contributing to baby taking birth with a heart defect and needing a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.
• Cocaine: Consumption of drugs like cocaine during pregnancy also contributes to a high risk of the child being born with a Congenital Heart Defect.
• Maternal chronic illnesses: These may include diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), and Vitamin B deficiency.
Types of Congenital Heart Defect
• Anomalous pulmonary venous return
• Atrial septal defect (ASD)
• Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD)
• Aortic valve stenosis
• Coarctation of the aorta
• Ebstein’s anomaly
• Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
• Pulmonary valve astresis
• Pulmonary valve stenosis
• Tetralogy of Fallot
• Transposition of the great arteries or vessels
• Tricuspid valve atresia
• Truncus arteriosus
• Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
A congenital heart defect can have strong repercussions on the child's health if not treated on time. Sometimes the defects present in the heart may not require intense treatment and go with certain medications. The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery caters to treating the Congenital Heart Defect which may hamper with the child's growth, some Congenital Heart Defect may be so serious that they may require immediate Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, otherwise, it could even lead to death. The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery may consist of several surgical techniques for the Congenital Heart Defect, the major ones include:
• Procedures using catheterization: In some Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, the doctor may go for catheterization techniques to treat children and adults with Congenital Heart Defect. The catheterization technique is a minimally invasive Pediatric Cardiac Surgery procedure that is carried out to repair holes, valves, and narrowed arteries in the heart. This done by inserting a thin tube-like structure called catheter, through a vein in the leg guiding the doctor towards the heart, via X-ray images. Once the catheter reaches the site of the defect, tiny tools are planted in this Pediatric Cardiac Surgery to repair the heart defect.
• Open-heart surgery: Depending on your child's condition, sometimes the more opted form of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery may be an Open-heart surgery. This means the heart defect cannot be treated via a non-invasive procedure. The doctor may open the child's heart and operate on the heart defect while hinging the body to an artificial heart-lung machine.
• Heart transplant: In case, both of the above mention Pediatric Cardiac Surgery treatments have failed, or can't treat the defect, a heart transplant may be opted by the pediatric cardiac surgeon as the main Pediatric Cardiac Surgery option.