Congenital Heart Disease

When there is a series of faults in the heart’s structure that most often obstruct the blood flow in an abnormal manner, it is definitely a cause of Congenital Heart Disease or a congenital heart defect.

Cause and Effect

This birth defect has been the cause of many deaths in the past. Many babies in Singapore who are born with the defect may require surgery almost immediately after birth and many others may require it over time, ideally during childhood. Children who have Down’s syndrome are pretty susceptible to the illness that can later manifest into Rubella; but most often the cause is hardly ever known or discovered. In many cases, the diagnosis is pronounced at birth but there are times when the defects are rather difficult to detect and are identified later on in life or even during adulthood.

Symptoms

The symptoms of the illness at birth may include low blood pressure with the color of the baby being rather blue. In addition to this there is a difficulty in breathing patterns, limited weight gain, dilated pupils and feeding problems. Sometimes the heart murmur can be normal which can make it difficult to pinpoint the problem, but after a series of tests like an electrocardiogram (ECG), x-ray of the chest, or an echocardiogram along with blood tests, the doctor can find a solution. There are times when the initial tests are inconclusive and this may call for more tests like an MRI or a CT scan, angiography, or others.

Even if a person has had a heart defect for years, congenital heart disease may not show up until later on in life, or it can even recur after being on treatment for a while. The general symptoms as an adult can include a sense of unease, acute dizziness (not vertigo but similar), fainting or loss of balance, shortness of breath and palpitations, arrhythmia, edema of the body tissue or even the organs, a bluish tinge to the skin, extreme fatigue and a feeling of tiredness after the minutest job, just to name a few. One would need to meet with a specialist if any of the symptoms persist and even more so if they are accompanied by acute pain in the chest or extreme shortness of breath.

Treatment and Care

To treat the illness one would need to visit a cardiologist to get down to basics and Dr Gerard is one of the best in Singapore. If need be it may be imperative to opt for surgery to fix the heart defect. The specialist may recommend open heart surgery or even a heart transplant if required. The procedures take a long time and the recovery time is also rather long, so anyone desirous of getting back in time for work or school will have to refrain from doing so, as this is a very serious operation. The point that one has to note is that when the symptoms are noticeable or when a person is under the weather practically all the time, it is a good idea to meet with a doctor to get to the underlying problem and find a cure or solution.

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