It's not unusual for some pregnant women to learn that their fetuses have been diagnosed with congenital heart defects. Other pregnant women learn after giving birth that their babies have congenital heart defects. There are cases where such heart defects are not discovered until later in a child's life while undergoing a routine exam.
Whatever the time of discovery may be, it's necessary for your child to undergo diagnostic testing to determine what exactly is the true nature of this problem. If it is a very serious defect, your child will have to be seen by a pediatric cardiologist. If final analysis of diagnostic testing proves that there are no symptoms and there is no real need for treatment, then no immediate treatment will be initiated.
Expect, though, that the pediatrician will test your child by running a cardiology test whenever your child has a check-up appointment. On the other hand, if a child's diagnostic testing reveals that a serious heart defect exists, then treatment is indicated.
Why Serious Heart Defects Must Be Addressed
Your child's heart defect must be corrected, since a defective heart condition can negatively impact the flow of blood through the heart. Remember that blood flow is responsible for transporting nourishment to your child's body. Your child cannot thrive if essential nutrients are not reaching the fetus during pregnancy. Neither will your child survive after birth if blood does not flow properly through the child's heart. Diagnostic results of a serious defect will require surgical intervention, and you'll need to hire a pediatric cardiologist.
Finding A Pediatric Cardiologist
Your child's pediatrician may make a referral to a pediatric cardiologist. If so, there are some questions that you should ask about that cardiologist. However, you can also do a search of other cardiologists or talk with family or friends about pediatric cardiologists they have used in the past. Information you gain from your search will help you to decide which of the cardiologists have the most experience to handle the care of your child's diagnosed cardiac condition.
MRI Pediatric Testing
The cardiologist you choose should be familiar with current diagnostic methods used for testing their pediatric patients, and so should you as a parent. MRI testing may be chosen by the cardiologist you choose to provide care for your child. This technology uses radio waves and magnets to create several slide interior images of your child's heart. The images capture the heart at different stages of the blood pumping cycle.
Discuss Surgery With Your Child Before Surgery
An infant will obviously not need explanation about the surgery's intricacies. If your child is older, then explain why the operation must be done. Use big hugs to reassure your child that everything will be okay following surgery.
For more information, reach out to a children's cardiologist at facilities like Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology.