Adult Congenital Heart Disease
One in 120 people are born with congenital (or: present at birth) heart defects. These defects range from simple to complex, often present in combination and include the following malformations of the heart:
Prevalence of Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart defects are often diagnosed and treated during childhood, but at least 10 percent of all congenital heart defects are first diagnosed during adulthood.
There are currently one million adults and 800,000 children in the U.S. living with congenital heart disease. Continued improvement in the medical and surgical care of patients with congenital heart defects means more than 90 percent of children born with heart disease are now expected to survive to adulthood.
Program for Adult Congenital Heart Disease
The Program for Adult Congenital Heart Disease at Northwestern Memorial provides consultation and treatment for adults (eighteen years and older) born with a heart defect. We combine the expertise of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons from both Northwestern Memorial and Children's Memorial Hospital to create a team specifically trained in treating adults with congenital heart disease.
Marla A. Mendelson, MD, is medical director, working alongside colleague R. Andrew de Freitas, MD, and surgical director Hyde M. Russell, MD. Together, they lead multidisciplinary staff that coordinates the overall management and care of the adult with congenital heart disease.
Evaluation and Treatment Approach
Patients of the Program for Adult Congenital Heart Disease participate in an initial patient evaluation that includes:
Based on the initial evaluation, we formulate a plan of care, collaborating with a team of specialists in cardiac imaging, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, heart failure cardiology and cardiac surgery. We believe collaboration is important for successful outcomes, so we share the plan of care with your referring physician and stay in communication throughout treatment.
Lifelong Care for Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Recognizing that congenital heart disease is a lifelong condition, our program offers patient education and counseling on topics relating to:
For more information on adult congenital heart disease, visit the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA).
For more information regarding adult congenital heart disease and available treatments, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312-NM-HEART (664-3278) or request a first time appointment online.
For more information regarding clinical trials related to preventive cardiology, please view the Clinical Trials Unit of Northwestern page, send an email or call 312-926-4000.