Heart ailments are becoming extremely prevalent these days. While some of these are acquired due to a sedentary lifestyle or some underlying illnesses, some heart defects are present from the time of birth itself. These are referred to as congenital heart diseases. A heart specialist can detect and address them timely. Let us discuss some common congenital heart diseases, in brief, but let’s first understand the structure of heart a little.
The heart is a pumping device of the body. It contains 4 valves, the upper chambers are called left and right auricles and lower chambers are called left and right ventricles. The blood circulated between the ‘body and the heart’ and between the ‘lung and the heart’ to facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
Here we present the 3 most common congenital defects as explained by cardiologists.
1. Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
Almost 2 in every 10 cases of congenital birth defects is due to ventricular septal defect. VSDs are holes that are present between the lowers two ventricles of the heart. The size might vary from tiny to large and so is its severity (the larger the hole, the more the chances of the baby to develop cardiac ailments). It can be diagnosed by tracing an extra heartbeat in the cardiac cycle, but several babies show no symptoms, making its diagnosis quite tricky.
2. Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
It is a group of illnesses that are characterized by the ineffective flow of blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. Often it is due to the abnormal structure of the heart valves (which ensures the backflow of blood does not occur). These deformities lead to over-exhaustion of the ventricular muscle and cause extra pressure built up on the right side of the heart. Apart from a murmur, an echocardiogram might be needed to diagnose it effectively.
3. Aortic Valve Stenosis
This heart deformity comprises of a significant proportion of congenital heart defects. It develops within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The defect arises in the aortic valve (the final valve junction before the blood is pumped out of the heart. This obstruction can cause pressure build in the heart that can lead to thickening of the muscle and over the time, it can lead to enlargement of the heart. Aortic valve stenosis is detected more effectively through an echocardiogram. Cardiac catheterization or surgery might be required for its treatment.
At ILS Hospitals, we address congenital defects for both inborn and outborn babies. Look out for the symptoms such as bluish skin, rapid breathing, fatigue and poor weight gain in your baby, consider getting a consultation with a pediatrician. The timely measure can treat them all effectively, while unresolved congenital defects might pose as a threat in the future.