Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery
What is Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery?
In our country, more than 3000 babies are born with a congenital heart disease every year. More than half of these babies have the chance to lead a normal life in their later years thanks to the treatment and heart operations.
At least half of the babies born with congenital heart disease each year need heart surgery. Although the cause of congenital heart problems is not known exactly, it has been accepted that some factors are effective in this regard. For example, congenital heart disease in one of the parents or relatives, unconscious drug use, especially in early pregnancy, kin marriage, infectious diseases (rubella), exposure to x-rays during pregnancy, alcohol use during pregnancy, hormonal disorders of the mother, or diabetes mellitus of the mother are some of these factors. Apart from these, genetic anomalies such as Turner Syndrome or Down Syndrome may be the cause of heart diseases.
While the majority of childhood heart diseases, for which early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important, can be diagnosed after birth; with today's medical technological systems, most of them can be diagnosed with fetal echocardiography while still in the mother's womb.
Which Diseases Does the Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Unit Treat?
Pediatric cardiovascular surgery mainly deals with the diagnosis and treatment of the following diseases:
Cyanotic congenital heart diseases
- Large vessel transposition
- Tricuspid atresia
- Turuncus arteriosus
- Tetralogy of Fallot
Acinatic (non-cyanotic) congenital heart diseases
•Atrial septal defect
•Patent ductus arteriosus
•Ventricular Septal Defect
Acquired heart diseases
•Congestive heart failure
•Acute rheumatic fever (ARA)
•Rheumatic heart valve diseases
•Infective heart diseases (carditis: endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis)
•Heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias)
Diagnostic Methods in Pediatric Heart Diseases
In order to follow the appropriate treatment process in infants and children, a correct diagnosis should be made first. For this, first of all, the family history of the child is found out, a physical examination is performed and some tests are applied when the specialist doctor deems it necessary. Some commonly used tests are:
Heart electrocardiography: Electrical activity of the heart can be seen with the help of electrodes attached to the body. Many diseases such as rhythm and conduction problems and thickening of the heart wall can be diagnosed.
Cardiac catheterization and angiography: With this test, which is used to check whether the heart is pumping properly or not, pressure measurement of different areas of the heart, anatomical problems, heart size and position can be monitored.
Telecardiography: The method used to display the size, appearance and enlargement of the heart in the cavities.
Holter ECG: Electrodes attached to the chest are monitored for 24 hours. With this method, heart condition is monitored in cases such as heart rhythm disorders, sudden shortness of breath, and fainting.
Echocardiography: With this method, also known as ECHO, the dimensions of the heart chambers, heart valves, intra-cardiac pressure, heart wall movements and the amount of blood expelled during a single contraction can be followed.
Electrophysiology: It is used for palpitations, fainting or rhythm disorders that cannot be detected by other methods. Thin sheaths are placed on the vessels in the neck and inguinal region, and electrode catheters are delivered to the heart. With the signals received directly from the heart, it is evaluated whether the conduction functions are healthy and normal.
Color Doppler Echocardiography: Colored observation of the heart in 2 or 3 dimensions with the help of ultrasonic sound waves. The condition of the heart muscles, the blood flow rate for the heart, structural heart anomalies and the pressure in the cavities of the heart can be measured. This method is also used for the heart condition of the baby in the womb. Images are obtained with a device called a transducer placed on the chest.
Stress Test: It is the test applied by sticking electrodes on the skin in the chest area. Congenital heart diseases, heart capacity measurement, symptoms that develop as a result of activity, and the stressed state of the heart can be observed with this test.
Operations Performed in the Pediatric Cardiovascular Unit
•Arterial Switch Surgery (TGA)
•Neonatal Complete Correction Surgery
•Atrial Septal Defect Repairs