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Common cardiac surgeries in children

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The top 10 cardiac surgeries in children are:

  • Atrial Septal Defect Repair: Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair in children is a surgical procedure to close a hole between the heart’s upper chambers. ASD allows blood to flow between the atria, leading to complications. The surgery, often performed via open-heart surgery or less invasive methods, closes this hole, either by stitching or placing a patch over it. The goal is to normalize blood flow, prevent lung problems, and reduce the risk of heart complications. The procedure has a high success rate and most children can lead normal lives post-surgery.
  • Ventricular Septal Defect Repair: Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Repair in children is a procedure to correct a defect in the wall (septum) separating the heart’s two lower chambers (ventricles). A VSD allows oxygen-rich blood to mix with oxygen-poor blood, overworking the heart and lungs. The surgery, often performed via open-heart surgery, involves closing the hole with a patch or stitches. This restores normal blood flow, reduces the workload on the heart, and prevents complications. Most children recover well and lead normal lives post-surgery.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus Closure: Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Closure in children is a surgical procedure to close the ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel connecting the pulmonary artery to the descending aorta. This vessel usually closes after birth, but if it remains open, it can lead to heart and lung issues. The procedure, either via catheterization or open-heart surgery, seals the PDA to normalize blood flow and reduce strain on the heart. Recovery varies, but most children have positive outcomes with minimal long-term effects.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot Repair: Tetralogy of Fallot Repair in children is a surgical correction for a congenital heart defect comprising four anomalies: a ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, an overriding aorta, and right ventricular hypertrophy. The surgery aims to repair the ventricular septal defect and relieve pulmonary stenosis. This allows for normal blood flow and reduces the right heart’s workload. Post-surgery, most children show significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life, although long-term follow-up care is often necessary.
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries Surgery: Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) Surgery in children corrects a condition where the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. The surgery, known as an arterial switch operation, involves repositioning these arteries to their proper places. This corrects oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood mixing, allowing the heart to function normally. The surgery is complex but has a high success rate, significantly improving the child’s health and quality of life. Postoperative care is crucial for monitoring and managing potential complications.
  • Coarctation of the Aorta Repair: Coarctation of the Aorta Repair in children involves correcting a narrowing of the aorta, the major artery leading from the heart. This surgery aims to improve blood flow to the lower part of the body. The procedure might involve removing the narrowed section and reconnecting the two ends of the aorta, or enlarging the narrowed area with a patch. Post-surgery, children typically experience improved blood flow and relief from symptoms, but ongoing monitoring is essential for detecting potential future cardiovascular issues.
  • Pulmonary Valve Replacement: Pulmonary Valve Replacement in children is a surgical procedure to replace a damaged or dysfunctional pulmonary valve, which controls blood flow from the heart to the lungs. This surgery is typically needed for congenital heart defects or damaged valves. It involves replacing the faulty valve with a mechanical one or a valve made from biological tissue. This operation aims to improve heart function and blood flow. Postoperative care is crucial for recovery and monitoring for potential complications. Regular follow-ups are essential to assess the function of the new valve.
  • Norwood Procedure: The Norwood Procedure is a complex heart surgery performed on newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a severe congenital defect. It involves reconstructing the heart so that it can effectively pump blood with only one functional ventricle. The procedure reconfigures the heart’s circulation to ensure adequate blood flow to the lungs and the rest of the body. It’s typically the first of three surgeries designed to treat this condition, with subsequent operations occurring as the child grows. The Norwood Procedure is critical for survival and improved quality of life for affected infants.
  • Glenn Procedure: Second stage surgery for complex heart defects. The Glenn Procedure is a type of heart surgery typically performed on children as part of the treatment for complex congenital heart defects like single ventricle anomalies. This surgery connects the superior vena cava, a large vein carrying blood from the upper body, directly to the pulmonary arteries, bypassing the heart. This setup helps improve oxygen-rich blood flow to the body. The Glenn Procedure is often the second of a three-stage series of surgeries, following the Norwood Procedure and preceding the Fontan Procedure.
  • Fontan Procedure: Final surgery for single-ventricle heart conditions. The Fontan Procedure is the final surgery in a series of three operations for children with complex congenital heart defects, especially those involving a single functional ventricle. This procedure reroutes blood flow from the lower body directly to the lungs, bypassing the heart. It’s essential for improving oxygenation and overall cardiac function in these patients. The Fontan Procedure significantly enhances the quality of life for children with these heart conditions, although it may be accompanied by long-term health considerations.

These surgeries address various congenital heart defects, each with specific goals to improve heart function and overall health.

The Pediatric.me content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice of a physician