Children's Heart Surgery - Symptoms and Available Treatments

Children's Heart Surgery - Symptoms and Available Treatments

| |  Pediatric Cardiology

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For some children who are born with heart defects, also known as congenital defects, heart surgery immediately after birth or after a few months depending on the severity may be required. Some defects are minor and some are major. The ailment may be directly to the heart or a blood vessel that is outside the heart. In most cases a single surgery can rectify the condition, but depending on the ailment, the specialist at the Children's Heart Hospital may suggest a series of procedures. Early detection and treatments aided by advance technology has significant improve the life of new born.

Symptoms that you should be looking for:

  • Blue or grey skin - This indicates that the oxygen flow in the blood is not adequate.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Arrhythmias - Heart rate or heart rhythm is not normal.
  • Lack of growth and development in a child or poor feeding and sleeping.

Open Heart Surgery

Among the various Children's Heart Treatments, open heart surgery is very common. Open heart surgery is when the surgeon uses a heart - lung bypass machine. The child is given general anesthesia which means that he is completely unconscious and does not feel the pain. The surgeon makes an incision through the breast bone. The blood is rerouted using tubes through a special machine called heart - lung bypass machine. This machine also adds oxygen to the blood in order to keep it warm. It also helps the blood to be circulating throughout the body while the surgeon performs the operation. With the machine on, the heart can actually be stopped making the repair of the valves, heart muscles or the arteries outside the heart easy. After it is repaired, the machine is removed and the heart can function as normal.

Heart defects can also be repaired by making an incision on the side of the chest in between the ribs called a tracheotomy also known as closed heart surgery. Special instruments are used along with a camera to perform this kind of surgery.

The third type of treatment is to insert thin tubes into an artery in the leg and pass them up to the heart. But a limited number of defects can be repaired in this way.

Children's heart hospitals generally have specialists, surgeons, nurses and technicians that are trained for this purpose.

After a surgery, 2 - 3 days of hospital stay may be required for your child's post surgery care.

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