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Congenital Heart Failure: A Condition that Can Lead to Heart Transplant

Woman hugging older man outsideCongenital heart failure isn’t necessarily a condition of itself, but rather a complication that can be caused by heart disease. When people are born with heart problems, it is often referred to by the general term congenital heart disease. These conditions can include improperly developed walls between heart chambers, faulty or poorly formed heart valves, or problems with the structure of the cardiac muscle tissue. Such issues can often be detected before or just after birth, and modern-day medical advances allow many children born with congenital heart disease to delay or avoid having surgery to treat their conditions. In some cases, affected people will require surgery to address their heart condition, and if their congenital heart disease leads to heart failure, a transplant may be necessary.

Congenital heart disease is caused by a genetic mutation, and researchers are working to pinpoint risk factors that may increase the chances of a child being born with a heart condition. Symptoms of these conditions vary widely, but there are some common signs, including:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Heart arrhythmias

Many of these symptoms are managed using medications, but people with congenital heart disease may experience heart failure and potentially require a heart transplant or other surgical intervention. At Tampa General Hospital, our experienced transplant team performs a consistently high volume of heart transplants each year for patients who have serious heart conditions. Additionally, TGH is recognized as a leader in the implantation of circulatory support and ventricular assist devices (VADs). We carefully evaluate patients who are referred to our program by their physician to decide what treatment strategy best suits their individual needs.

To learn about Tampa General Hospital’s Heart Transplant Program and the selection criteria for adult patients who have congenital heart disease and consequential cardiac failure, please call 1-800-505-7769 (press 1 for the heart transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088.