The heart (or cardiac system) is the principal primary pump of your body, its job being to pump and circulate oxygenated blood to your body and deoxygenated blood to the lungs for removal. The heart can be affected by developmental anomalies at birth, blockage of the vessels to the heart or by cardiac tumors as well. These cardiac defects are therefore referred to as congenital (present at birth) heart defects. Some of the heart defects need immediate intervention whereas the others can be treated when the child is fit for surgery.
Any of the above-mentioned conditions could be possible indications for pediatric heart surgery.
The Pediatric Heart Surgical procedures include:
Lesser Invasive procedure like, Coronary Angioplasty to recover the impaired blood supply to the cardiac muscle. A balloon (initially deflated) is used to increase the width of the artery in the blocked area by inflation, and a stent can be used to make it stay wide. This is done in relatively fewer, initial and early blockages- say just one or two arteries.
Open Heart Surgery on the other hand is a major surgical procedure, and is done to repair congenital birth defects such as Atrial Septal Defect, Ventricular Septal Defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, Transposition of the great vessels, Patent Ductus Arteriosus and Coarctation of Aorta to name a few.
In some children with pediatric heart anomalies, when a repair cannot be performed surgically a Heart Transplant procedure can be advised.
Any pediatric surgical procedure is performed under the influence of local or general anesthesia mostly and requires a dedicated change in lifestyle and rehabilitative exercises to help recover full heart function in children. Pediatric heart surgeons work very closely with pediatric cardiologists in diagnosing and treating the children with various heart problems, with a special emphasis on meeting the emotional and psychological needs of the child.