Depending on the heart defect and its treatment, different individuals will have different reactions to other illnesses. In general, infections can be a serious and persistent issue for someone born with any heart birth defect. Some people will have to take an antibiotic any time they need surgery or procedures done in order to prevent infection. In addition, women who were born with a serious heart defect may need closer monitoring during pregnancy.
Edwin Yih-Jen. Kok, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursSouthern California Heart Center
506 W Valley
San Gabriel, CA 91776
- Anthem Blue Cross of California
- Blue Shield of California
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Care 1st Health Plan
- Great-West Healthcare CIGNA
- Health Net
- LA Care Health Plan
- Alhambra Hospital Medical Center
- Garfield Medical Center
- Greater El Monte Community Hospital
- Monterey Park Hospital
- Pacific Alliance Medical Center
- San Gabriel Valley Medical Center
- How do other illnesses affect heart birth defects?
What are the symptoms of heart birth defects?
The symptoms of spina bifida vary greatly with the severity of the disorder. If you have occulta, the least severe type of spina bifida, you will likely have no symptoms. The second most severe type of spina bifida encompasses closed neural tube defects, in which the disorder is marked by a tuft of hair, dimple, or other noticeable birthmark. In some cases, this type of spina bifida does not cause symptoms, but in other cases, sufferers might be partially paralyzed or have trouble regulating urinary and bowel functions.
Meningocele, the third most severe kind of spina bifida, involves protrusion of the membranes that cover the spine (meninges) and part of the spinal cord through a bone defect in the spine. In this case, affected individuals' symptoms may range from have few or no symptoms of spina bifida to incomplete paralysis with urinary and bowel dysfunction.
Finally, myelomeningocele, the most severe type of spina bifida, occurs when the open lesion or sac is present on the back containing abnormal spinal cord, nerves meninges, vertebral bodies, and skin. This type of defect can result in paralysis, problems with bowel and bladder control, leg and feet abnormalities, and brain formation abnormalities.
How is congenital heart disease treated?
Depending on the severity, congenital heart disease can be treated in a number of different ways. For very mild cases, only medication may be necessary. Many defects that require intervention can now be corrected using catheterization procedures, which repair damage through a thin tube inserted into a blood vessel. These are less dangerous and have fewer complications than traditional heart surgery. However, for very serious congenital heart disease, open heart surgery or even a heart transplant may be needed to correct the damage.
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