What happens in genetic counseling?
The goal of genetic counseling for adults with congenital heart disease is to determine the likelihood that their children will also have a heart defect. The chance for a heart defect to happen again in a family depends on its cause. In your genetics evaluation the genetic counselor and/or geneticist will try to determine the cause of your heart defect by looking at your medical and family history and doing a physical exam. Genetic testing on a sample of your blood may also help determine the cause. Sometimes it’s helpful to obtain blood samples for genetic testing on other members of your family, especially if they also have a heart condition. Causes of heart defects Unknown cause: We don’t know the exact cause of most heart defects. They’re likely due to a combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors. There’s usually a 2 to15 percent chance of a heart defect happening again in the family. The odds depend on what type of defect you have and whether anyone else in your fam