Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program in the Fox Valley
In the Fox Valley, we offer one of the few adult congenital heart disease programs in the country in conjuction with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Herma Heart Center, Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The program treats the increasing number of people born with heart conditions who are living into adulthood. Thanks to advances in pediatric surgery and cardiothoracic surgery, there now are more than a million adults with congenital heart disease living in the United States. As a result, a new specialty - Adult Congenital Heart Disease - has begun to treat this unique population.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee or in the Fox Valley, call (414) 266-6784. Specify that you would like to be seen in the Fox Valley location. Bring all your insurance information with you.
Why is a special program necessary?
Since adult patients with congenital heart disease are now living longer than ever before, we have learned that even the most simple defects can be linked with long-term complications we never knew existed. These include both cardiac and noncardiac problems. Cardiac complications include rhythm problems, heart block, heart failure, residual holes, leaky and tight valves, high blood pressure and aneurysms. Noncardiac issues include learning disabilities, hearing and vision problems and lung problems.
Should I receive follow-up care?
Although most children who have surgical intervention will survive to adulthood, "total correction" is not the rule. The few exceptions include patent ductus arteriosus, ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects, and only if they are closed early before irreversible cardiac or lung damage develops and no residual lesions exist. Most patients who underwent heart surgery as a child should see a heart doctor for life.
While many people may not experience any symptoms, early warning signs may include:
Many other noncardiac problems arise during adulthood that also require special attention. These include: Jenni, 39, was born with ostium primum atrial defect (a hole in the heart) and her daughter Cassie, 4, also was born with a heart defect. Learn more here.
These problems all can have a major impact on quality of life. The adult congenital heart disease staff is experienced and dedicated in helping deal with these many issues.