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Non-Cardiac Health Issues for Survivors with Complex Congenital Heart Defects

  • Broadcast in Health
Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna


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There are over one million adults alive with a congenital heart defect or CHD. Many surgeries performed on survivors are corrective but not curative. The non-cardiac health issues that seem to appear fairly regularly include, but are not limited to: problems with teeth, (i.e. an abscess, needing wisdom teeth removed or needing braces); scoliosis; problems with legs or feet requiring braces or surgery, pregnancy or female problems, male babies with undescended testicles or concern about circumcision, eye problems, protein-losing enteropathy, other intestinal problems, plastic bronchitis, asthma, strokes, seizures, migraines and allergies.

These non-cardiac conditions are more worrisome for heart parents and CHD survivors since everything is more complicated when considering a body which has had open-heart surgery. Special considerations must be made for drugs taken and surgical complications endured. What kinds of non-cardiac health issues are common in the heart community and why?