Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

One of every 100 babies is born with congenital heart disease (CHD), which is a malformation of the heart or major blood vessels. Fifty years ago, many of these babies could not survive. Today, people with congenital heart disease are living long, healthy lives. This is partly due to medical and surgical advances and expert care available at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Having served thousands of patients over more than 20 years, the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic is one of the largest and most specialized clinics of its kind in the nation. Mayo Clinic heart surgeons in Minnesota have performed more than 18,000 operations to repair congenital heart defects. Each year, cardiovascular surgeons perform more than 500 operations to repair congenital heart defects.

The entire integrated team of cardiologists, nurses and technicians has specialized training in the complex anatomy and physiology of people with congenital heart disease. The expertise and knowledge of the team combined with the latest technology helps provide patients with reliable diagnoses and personalized treatment plans.

See list of congenital heart disorders treated at Mayo.

Expert, continuous care

Because even minor procedures and lifestyle changes can become life threatening for people with congenital heart disease, they require specialized care throughout their lives. The staff in the Congenital Heart Disease Clinic provides advice and consultation to congenital heart disease patients regarding all types of medical conditions or treatments, including minor surgery, pregnancy or heart surgery.

When a congenital heart disease patient is admitted to the hospital for any reason, a congenital cardiologist participates on the health care team to advise from a cardiac perspective. This continuity of care is critical, because these patients' complex anatomy can cause a number of complications that only a specialist would know to consider. The staff also fosters relationships with primary physicians, communicating the treatment plan and offering a resource for physician or patient questions.

Focus on education

Because of the unique issues related to each form of congenital heart disease, it is very important for each patient to understand his or her anatomy. The cardiologists, nurse practitioners and nurses at the Congenital Heart Disease Clinic advise and educate each patient on their particular condition, previous surgeries and treatments, and continuing care. When an issue does arise, patients are better equipped to know how to handle it. Also, clinic nurses are available by phone to answer questions and concerns.

Research legacy gives hope

The Mayo Clinic cardiovascular team was one of the first in the nation to perform open heart surgery to repair a congenital heart defect, and today Mayo Clinic surgeons have performed a large number of complex congenital heart disease repairs with excellent results. In addition, the large body of clinical research on congenital heart disease has helped cardiologists better understand the most appropriate therapy for a particular defect, the optimal timing and type of surgery and other issues. Now, nearly 40 percent of all patients seen at the Congenital Heart Disease Clinic are over 40 years old. Mayo's research tradition, coupled with the best in patient care, gives today's patients hope of living healthy to an old age.

Complex issues, simple goal

The goal of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic is to ensure that patients born with congenital heart disease will live long, healthy lives. This is accomplished by providing research-based, cutting-edge care by medical professionals with special expertise in the complexities of congenital heart disease.

Appointments

Patients may be referred by their physicians or make an appointment on their own. To schedule an appointment with the Mayo Clinic Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic, please call 507-284-3328, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Time.

Physician staff