Specialized Care for Congenital Heart Disease
Advances in care have made it possible for children born with congenital heart disease to grow into healthy adults with long life expectancies. As experts in adult congenital heart care, our providers understand how your heart develops and ages, and we ensure you receive the best medical care at every stage of your life.
Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult CHD Care
Typically, children with CHD start preparing to graduate to adult care around the age of 13. The formal transition takes place between ages 18 and 26. Timing depends on the person's specific condition, its complexity, and other factors. A pediatric cardiologist plays an important role in this shift.
Why Adults with CHD Need Sophisticated Care
General cardiologists may not be aware of the latest advances in CHD treatment or know how to meet your unique needs. That is why they often refer patients to programs like ours. Duke is a leading referral center in the Southeast. Even if you aren’t experiencing problems now, you may be at higher risk for complications and other heart-related concerns if you aren’t monitored regularly by an adult congenital heart specialist.
Innovative Treatments When a Problem Occurs
Our adult CHD team works with experts throughout Duke to ensure you receive the specialized care you need. We use advanced technologies to monitor your health so that we can identify complications as early as possible and provide effective treatments when needed to help you stay healthy and active.
Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology
When abnormal heart rhythms develop, you may be referred to specially trained electrophysiologists who offer the latest treatment options with low complication rates. They also offer pacemakers and defibrillators, when needed.
Pulmonary Hypertension and Other Lung Problems
Pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs, is common in adults with certain congenital heart defects. Our cardiologists and pulmonologists work together to identify and treat these lung problems. For advanced disease that cannot be treated with medical or catheter-based therapies, lung transplantation may be appropriate.
Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation
Duke’s heart failure experts offer medical treatments, interventional procedures, assistive devices, and surgical options to manage heart failure. If a heart transplant is needed, Duke’s heart transplant program is among the top in the U.S. for the number of transplants performed each year. Our specialists champion techniques and technologies that expand the donor pool to provide more hearts to more people faster.