Adult congenital heart disease

Whether you were diagnosed as a child or discovered the disease as an adult, we can help.

Laughing man outdoorsLaughing man outdoors

At UCHealth, a continuum of care for congenital heart disease

Advances in medicine and technology mean that children born with congenital heart disease are living longer than ever, but may still need continued care and follow-up treatments as adults.

Our doctors, who are specifically trained in adult congenital heart disease, care for patients at UCHealth as well as at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Our team can use resources from both hospitals to provide care that neither facility could provide alone.

Man getting blood pressure checked

What is congenital heart disease?

Congenital heart disease is when you are born with one or more abnormalities in your heart’s structure, including your valves, ventricles (pumping chambers), or large blood vessels entering and leaving the heart. This is a very common birth defect, which can alter the flow of blood through your heart as an adult, even if you were treated as a child.

Common symptoms of congenital heart disease

  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
  • A bluish tint to the skin, lips and fingernails (cyanosis).
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Swelling of legs (edema).
  • Tiring quickly upon exertion.

The most common types of congenital heart diseases we treat

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD).
  • Coarctation of the aorta.
  • Eisenmenger syndrome.
  • Ebstein anomaly.
  • Pulmonary stenosis.
  • Shone syndrome.
  • Single ventricle defects and the Fontan.
  • Subaortic stenosis.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Transposition of the great arteries after Mustard/Senning repair or arterial switch procedure.
  • Truncus arteriosus.
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD).
Man with backpack snowshoeing up slope

Congenital heart disease treatment: comprehensive, personalized solutions

Our multidisciplinary adult congenital heart disease program offers diagnostic services as well as numerous invasive and minimally invasive treatment options.

Our specialists are involved in clinical trials of new minimally invasive devices and procedures.

Treatments include:

  • A care team dedicated to pregnancy and heart disease in high-risk moms with unique needs.
  • Access to advanced heart failure therapies, including left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) and heart transplant.
  • Advanced electrophysiology procedures for patients with arrhythmias.
  • High-risk surgical repair or revision of structural defects in the heart.
  • Leading-edge diagnostics and imaging.
  • Minimally invasive treatment options.
  • Numerous genetic services.

When to see an adult congenital heart disease specialist

Anyone who has congenital heart disease should be seen in a specialized adult congenital heart disease clinic at least once. The more complex the congenital heart disease, the more important it is to get ongoing care from a specialized adult congenital heart disease clinic.

Specialized adult congenital heart disease programs at UCHealth

  • Moderate or complex heart anatomy: single ventricle, cyanosis, Fontan, interrupted aortic arch, pulmonary atresia, transposition of the great arteries (any form, any repair), truncus arteriosus, coarctation of the aorta, Ebstein anomaly, ostium primum ASD or tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Simple congenital heart disease complicated by heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, valve disease, arrhythmia and/or aortic enlargement.
  • Pregnant congenital heart disease patients or congenital heart disease patients who are considering pregnancy.
Woman doing weight training

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital is an ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA).