Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will my heart malformation surgery consultation allow me to live a normal life?"
I am always short of breath and cannot be very active. I want this to change. I am now 32. What will happen?
I cannot answer this question very well without knowing exactly what is going on. It sounds like you may have or at least there is a suspicion that you may have a congenital heart defect. Congenital means a defect that you were born with. Most of these are picked up during childhood, but occasionally if the defect is slight it may go until adulthood before it is noticed, usually when the doctor hears a new murmur or the patient starts to have symptoms like shortness of breath. By far the most common cause of congenital heart disease diagnosed in adulthood is an atrial septal defect. This is a small hole between the two atria, which are the top two chambers of the heart. It leads to blood flooding the lungs, which can cause shortness of breath. An atrial septal defect can be fixed in two ways. One of these ways involves closing the hole with a device inserted through a blood vessel and the other involves open heart surgery, depending on the size of the defect. Usually these procedures are quite successful. Of course, there are other potential causes of congenital heart disease, which might be more complicated or have less straight forward solutions.
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