Learning your child may have a heart defect can seem overwhelming. We understand your child and your family may be feeling a lot of emotions. Rest assured, the experts at Banner Children’s are here to provide the support and care your child’s needs to live a healthy life. Congenital heart defects can be frequently detected before birth or in early infancy. At Banner Children’s, we provide comprehensive fetal and childhood diagnosis and treatment to help you navigate this journey.
Congenital heart defects are cardiac conditions present at birth. They can affect the heart’s structure and how blood pumps through the heart.
Congenital heart defects in children differ from heart defects or heart disease in adults, which are acquired through aging or lifestyle habits over time. Because of this, congenital heart defects require different diagnosis and treatment approaches.
Congenital heart defect symptoms in babies can be detected before birth or within the first few months after birth. During pregnancy, many congenital heart defects can be seen with a specialized ultrasound called a fetal echocardiogram.
After birth, infants may have symptoms including:
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, call your doctor right away.
The cause of most congenital heart defects in babies is unknown, but congenital heart defects may begin to develop during pregnancy as the baby is growing. While these defects cannot be prevented, our team offers early detection, diagnosis and management of fetal cardiac defects to allow for appropriate evaluation in a timely manner. At Banner Children’s, we make sure expectant mothers and families feel informed and supported.
Early detection of fetal cardiac defects and rhythm disturbances is key because it allows our medical experts to provide you with timely care and treatment options for your newborn.
Diagnosing congenital heart defects in unborn babies can be done by using a special ultrasound called a fetal echocardiogram. This non-invasive test can show the structure of the baby's heart so your cardiologist can accurately diagnose your child’s condition and work with your OB to develop a customized delivery and post-delivery plan for you and your baby.
After birth, children with concerning symptoms can be tested with an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) to look at the structure of the heart and how well it pumps.
Other testing options available for evaluating children's hearts include:
After your baby or child is diagnosed, a plan of care is made in collaboration with your pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist. If you are an expectant mother, you’ll meet members of the fetal heart team prior to your delivery to ensure the appropriate care is taken immediately after birth. Treatment options may include:
As your child grows, our continuum of care grows as well. From Banner Children’s to adult care throughout Banner Health, we’re here to care for families at every stage of life.