Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Adult Congenital Heart Disease

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The Duke adult congenital heart disease program was among the first to respond to the growing demand for treatment of adults born with congenital heart conditions. Today, we are one of the Southeast's top referral centers, and provide care to more than 1,200 adults each year at our heart clinics in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and throughout North Carolina. Whether you are transitioning from our pediatric congenital heart disease program or seeking heart care for the first time at Duke, we provide the unique care you need to overcome the hurdles of congenital heart defects and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Our Doctors

Meet our cardiologists and heart surgeons, view their profiles and select the one that’s right for you.

Treatments

Our heart specialists employ the full range of medical and surgical advances to treats a broad range of problems with the heart chambers, heart valves, and major blood vessels, including atrial septal defect, bicuspid aortic valve, coarctation of the aorta, heart failure, arrhythmia, and patent foramen ovale.

Medications

Maintain a regular heartbeat, prevent blood clots, improve your heart’s pumping ability, or lower your blood pressure.

Open Heart Surgery

May be necessary to repair certain congenital heart defects. These procedures are performed by surgeons who have helped establish national standards for treating adult congenital heart disease.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Small incisions are used, when possible, to reduce scarring and pain and shorten your recovery. We may use this approach to close holes in the heart (atrial septal defects) or to repair or replace heart valves (mitral, tricuspid, or aortic). 

Catheterization Procedures

Fix the heart without opening the chest so you recover faster and with less pain and blood loss. Catheter-based procedures include:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty -- expands a narrowed heart valve
  • Closure of arteriovenous malformations -- a substance is inserted in the artery to close off an abnormal connection between an artery and vein
  • Stent therapy for coarctation of the aorta -- a balloon expands a narrowed aorta, and a cylindrical metal stent is inserted to keep the aorta open

Our Locations

Duke Health offers heart clinics in Durham, Raleigh, Cary and throughout North Carolina. Find one near you.

Tests

Your diagnostic tests will be performed by experts who specialize in imaging adults with complex congenital heart defects.

Cardiac Catheterization

Contrast dye injected into the catheter helps create detailed images of your heart and arteries.

Echocardiography

Provides images of your moving heart without exposing you to radiation.

MRI

Radio waves, magnets, and a computer create still and moving images of your heart and blood vessels. We are expanding the use of MRI as a way to reduce radiation exposure in patients who need frequent and lifelong testing.

CT

X-rays create a 3-D image of your heart.

Electrophysiology Testing

Catheters are threaded into your heart to record its electrical activity.

Nuclear Cardiology

Evaluates your heart’s pumping function. A chemical agent is injected into your bloodstream and a highly sensitive camera records your heart’s ability to take in blood, both at rest and during exercise.

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Why Choose Duke

One of the Best Heart Hospitals in the U.S.
We are consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform, and the quality of our support services.

Minimally Invasive Approaches, Shorter Recoveries
Our interventional cardiologists have helped advance the use of interventional catheterization for adult congenital heart diseases that have historically required open surgery. This can lead to faster recovery.

Highly Skilled Surgeons
Our congenital heart disease surgeons have years of training and experience treating high volumes of people with congenital heart disease. Studies show that performing more surgeries translates to better results for you. 

An Expert Team
In addition to our cardiologists and surgeons, our imaging technicians, nurses, pharmacists, and others are trained specifically to evaluate and treat structural and functional congenital heart defects in adults. As a leading training center, we share our expertise with doctors worldwide.

Access to New Treatments
Our ongoing research and clinical trials ensure you have access to more treatment options, sometimes before they are available elsewhere. Some of the latest advances include catheter-based devices now used to treat atrial septal defect, two types of percutaneous pulmonary valves used as an alternative to surgery, and the recent, FDA-approved muscular ventricular septal defect (VSD) device, which is only available at a handful of heart centers nationwide.

More Precise Diagnoses
Because we are high-volume heart hospital, our MRI technicians have the resources and skills to precisely pinpoint heart abnormalities that lead patients to require diagnostic catheterizations.

Comprehensive Care
We offer vocational counseling, cardiac rehabilitation, and assessments for pregnancy and athletics.

Genetic Screening and Counseling
Our genetic heart disease program offers genetic testing and counseling to patients who have a family history or have been diagnosed with an inherited heart condition, including chromosomal abnormalities, genetic cardiomyopathies, and connective tissue disorders.

Ready Access to Information
We make sure you are up-to-date on test results, diagnoses, procedures, and more through Duke MyChart, as well as a personal health “passport” booklet. This keeps your personal information easily accessible when you need care.

Best Heart Hospital in NC

When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked cardiology and heart surgery program is the best in North Carolina.