Sometimes heart surgery in children is required for repairing defects in the heart which a child might have born with (known as congenital heart defects) and heart diseases which he gets after birth, which require surgery. Pediatric Cardiac Surgery deals with operative procedures in the newborn and unborn children and youngsters suffering from cardiac dysfunctions, structural, functional and rhythm-related issues of the heart also.
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery often deals with heart problems in children, the cause of congenital heart diseases which are common heart ailments among new born children and involves deficiencies like structural defects, congenital arrythmias and cardiomyopathies, which result in different kinds of abnormalities related to the heart. Congenital heart disease is a cause of improper growth of the heart or blood vessels before birth.
The Paediatric cardiology department of any hospital offers all non-invasive diagnostic and paediatric cardiac interventional services. The diagnostic modalities are inclusive of foetal echocardiography, transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, round the clock Holter, CT and MR angiography as well as diagnostic cardiac catheterisation. Cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists and other specialists work closely together to care for newborn as well as unborn children suffering from cardio-vascular disorders who provide exceptional pre and post operative services.
There are a number of Pediatric Cardiology Surgeries such as balloon atrial septostomy, Valvuloplasty/Angioplasty, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Ventricular Septal Defect and Atrial Septal Defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return, Double Outlet Right Ventricle etc. The major ones are:
Balloon Atrial Septostomy (BAS) : This technique, also known as the Rashkind procedure used for enlarging a hole between the right atrium and the left atrium. It is often used to manage patients with transposition of the great arteries. Here the larger hole improves oxygenation of the blood.
Valvuloplasty/Angioplasty : Valvuloplasty is that process where a small balloon is inserted and inflated for stretching and opening a narrowed (stenosed) heart valve. On the other hand, angioplasty is a non-surgical process which can be used for opening blocked heart arteries.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus : This is a kind of defect in infants where vessel (the ductus arteriosus) fails to close soon after birth which results in abnormal blood flow, between the pulmonary artery and aorta, which takes the blood from the heart to the lungs and to the rest of the body. To treat it, an incision is made under the chest through which tubes are inserted to regulate the flow of blood supply.
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) : Both of these are congenital defects. In ASD, the wall that separates the upper heart chambers (atria) does not close completely. The surgery here involves a placement of an ASD device into the heart through catheters, which is inserted by making a tiny incision in the groin area. While in VSD, happens at the time of birth. It is explained as one or more holes in the wall that separates the right and left ventricle of the heart. In pre-natal stages, the right and left ventricles of a heart are not separate. As the fetus grows, a wall is formed for separating the two ventricles but if the wall does not form completely, a hole remains. This can be treated by inserting cardiac catheterization.
Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF) : Another congenital heart defect, it is a constellation of four abnormalities, which result in insufficient oxygen in the blood. In this case, a surgery is needed for restoring these defects which are caused, main; paid at the time when the infant is young.