Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Care Provided By Dr. Lyne

One in a hundred babies is born with a malformation of the heart

One in a hundred babies is born with a malformation of the heart involving the chambers, valves and blood vessels. Almost all of them grow up to become adults thanks to medical and surgical advances, as well as expert care. Routine follow up appointments with a specialist congenital cardiologist is advised for nearly all patients with congenital heart disease.

Our team of dedicated specialists provides specialist care for the ongoing survival and quality of life of adult patients with congenital heart disease (Adult Congenital Heart Disease).

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Services

The idea behind routine medical surveillance is to assess if your heart condition is stable or has changed. We want to identify any potential problems early on – before they might cause any permanent damage to your heart health.

A change in your heart condition is usually determined by a combination of your own symptoms, a comprehensive medical examination, recording your heart rhythm with an ECG and performing specialist imaging investigations such as a congenital heart echo and MRI.

We also try to get an objective measurement of exercise capacity and the hearts response to exertion by arranging monitored exercise testing.

We will monitor any cardiac medications you may be taking at these appointments and review if there is any need to change these.

Your routine appointment is a good opportunity to ask your doctor any questions or concerns you may have about your heart health, as well as making sure you understand your heart condition. At the Congenital Heart Centre, we pride ourselves on taking the time to ensure all our patients are well educated about their heart condition.

Tests that may be performed as part of routine medical surveillance include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): This test records the electrical activity of your heart and helps identify heart rhythm problems.
  • Holter Monitor: if there is any concern about a heart rhythm abnormality you would generally wear a heart rhythm monitor for 48 – 72hours. If a heart rhythm abnormality is detected, Dr. Lyne can assess it and advise on the necessary management.
  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPEX): This test allows your doctor to see how your lungs, heart and muscles react to exercise. The test is carried out on a bicycle, the machines usually used in gyms. This test evaluates how your heart, lungs and muscles respond to exercise. We often use this test to assess for any change in your functional capacity, to assess your fitness for surgery or to assess the need for complex cardiac interventions, including heart transplants.
  • Echocardiogram: This is the most commonly used test to diagnose and monitor congenital heart disease. During an echocardiogram, sound waves are used to produce a video image of the heart. It allows your doctor to see your heart’s chambers and measure their pumping strength. This test also checks heart valves and looks for any signs of heart defects.
  • Transoesophageal Echocardiogram: This is a specialist form of echocardiogram that allows the doctor to see more detail of the heart. This is done by passing a small flexible tube called a scope into your mouth and food pipe. This is generally done under sedation. It allows the doctor to see some areas of your heart in more detail. Dr. Canniffe, Dr. Lyne and Dr. Kenny all perform this test.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create 3-D images of your heart and other organs and tissues within your body. It allows for a more detailed assessment of your heart anatomy and can also assess your hearts function in more detail. This test is often used in conjunction with echo testing to optimise medical surveillance and aid decision making about complex cases. View Blackrock Clinic website.

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