What Is Congenital Heart Disease (Congenital Heart Defect)?
Congenital heart disease, also known as congenital heart defect, is a general term for a series of faults in the structure of the heart and great vessels that is present from birth. In the majority of cases, the defect either obstructs blood flow in the heart or nearby vessels, or causes blood to flow through the heart in an abnormal way. Congenital heart defect is a common birth defect, and a leading cause of deaths linked to birth defects. Congenital heart disease is far more treatable today than it used to be. A significant number of babies who once died of congenital heart defect today survive well into adulthood, thanks to advances in surgical treatment. Approximately 85% of newborns today with congenital heart defect survive well into adulthood. Even so, many adults who were initially treated for congenital heart disease may not be receiving adequate follow-up care. Adults who were treated as infants should check with their doctor. Patients may have complex health needs and might