Congenital means existing at birth. Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart's structure and are the most common type of birth defect. Generally, these kinds of birth defects include:
Many heart defects are found very early—sometimes even before a child is born. Others, however, are not discovered until an older child or adult begins to have symptoms of a problem. Whether treated shortly after birth or decades after, those with heart disease or congenital defects often need specialized, lifelong cardiac care.
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The adult congenital heart program at UMMC works closely with the Children’s of Mississippi congenital heart program to help older children transition into adult care.
A person can be diagnosed with a heart defect very early in life or later, as growth and aging naturally change the body’s structure and functionality. University Heart doctors can use a variety of tests to identify heart defects and to track any changes over time.Symptoms of heart defects in adults can include:
*Chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and fatigue are also common symptoms of a heart attack. If you suspect a heart attack, the best chance of survival and recovery is to call 911 immediately.Many people may have no apparent symptoms. Only a physician can diagnose a congenital heart problem, so if you or a loved one does develop symptoms, seeing a doctor is very important.
Patients benefit from UMMC’s technologically advanced facilities, leading-edge research, and a variety of specialists who work together to diagnose and treat heart defects.
At UMMC, we identify congenital heart problems using:
Physical exams can be done during a regular checkup with your doctor, but advanced testing to diagnose a heart problem must done by cardiac specialists.
The specialists at UMMC are skilled at treating heart problems in newborns, children, and adults. Each patient is unique, but common treatments for congenital heart defects include:
We work with patients and their primary care providers to offer specialized care and support through all stages of life. And as part of the state’s only academic medical center, we offer a wide variety of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management options.