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Adult Congenital Heart Disease

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The Yale Adult Congenital Heart Program, part of the Heart and Vascular Center, is the first integrated program in Connecticut dedicated to the care of adult patients with complex congenital heart disease.

This multidisciplinary program encompasses the full spectrum of care and provides continuity for adults living with congenital heart disease. The Yale Adult Congenital Heart Program is accredited by the Adult Congenital Heart Association and provides regular inpatient and outpatient services to the most complex adult congenital heart patients, offering a full spectrum of imaging, exercise testing and surgical and less-invasive catheterization therapies.

Our expert care team of Yale Medicine physicians includes a cardiologist who is board-certified in pediatric and adult cardiology; a pediatric cardiologist; an adult cardiologist; and pulmonologists. The team also includes an advanced practice nurse, genetic counselors and a social worker.

Working with our colleagues in adult medicine, patients 18 years and older who were diagnosed and treated as children, as well as adults diagnosed with heart defects for the first time, receive detailed education about their underlying congenital heart defect, its management, and the implications on future functioning.

Patients have access to advanced diagnostic imaging, including echocardiography and MRI.

The adult congenital heart team collaborates with specialists in high-risk obstetrics and maternal fetal medicine, cardiac imaging, cardiac transplantation, cardiothoracic surgery and sub-specialists in related areas, including kidney disease. 

Experts in congenital electrophysiology offer potential curative therapies for life-threatening arrhythmias. Congenital and acquired cardiovascular diseases that require surgical intervention are managed by our team of pediatric and adult cardiovascular surgeons with an experience that spans three decades.

Symptoms

We care for a broad range of health concerns, but commonly encountered problems in ACHD patients include:

  • Complications associated with early surgical repair
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rhythm problems, including pacemakers and defibrillators
  • Pregnancy issues
  • Unrepaired congenital defects

Diagnosis

Many patients wait to treat their congenital heart disease. Imaging, including echocardiograms (ultrasound) and MRI, allow us to diagnose problems before they limit your ability to live and work symptom-free.

Treatment

Our ACHD team is involved at every step along the way. Cardiac catheterizations, including non-invasive placement of valves, are done by experts in congenital heart disease. Surgery for adult congenital heart disease is performed by one of our heart surgeons who specialize in congenital heart disease.

Conditions we treat include:

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Atrioventricular canal defect
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Complex single ventricle patients, including those who had a Fontan operation
  • Congenital coronary anomalies, including ALCAPA (anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery)
  • Congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries
  • Cyanotic heart disease
  • Ebstein's anomaly
  • Patients who had a Ross operation as a child
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of the great arteries, including those who have had a Mustard or Senning operation or arterial switch operation
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)