Pediatric cardiovascular surgery is the specialty in which congenital cardiovascular diseases in childhood and adulthood are treated with surgical operations. Pediatric cardiovascular surgery department cooperates with all branches related to childhood age group, especially Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Intensive Care departments.
In the childhood age group, the main focus of the cardiovascular surgery branch is heart-related pathologies. Vascular pathologies are rarely seen in patients in this age group.
All congenital or congenital anomalies of the heart and great vessels constitute the target population of pediatric cardiac surgery. These pathologies can be examined in a wide framework, from the holes between the heart and its chambers, to the position disorders of the main vessels coming out of the heart and stenosis that occurs in any part of the circulation.
Heart-related ailments can present at any time during childhood. In general, these diseases may have symptoms such as bruising on the extremities of the hands and feet, lips and mucous membranes, inability to feed, weakness, inability to make effort, rhythm disorders, frequent breathing and various murmurs in the chest.
More than half of babies with congenital heart disease undergo heart surgery. Although the exact cause of congenital heart problems is not known, some factors are known to be effective in this regard. For example; Factors such as genetic factors, unconscious drug use in early pregnancy, consanguineous marriage, past infectious diseases (rubella), exposure to x-rays of the mother during pregnancy or alcohol use during pregnancy are some of these factors. At the same time, genetic anomalies such as Turner Syndrome or Down Syndrome can be the cause of heart diseases.
In order to follow the appropriate treatment process in infants and/or children, a correct diagnosis must first be made. For this reason, first the family history is listened to, then physical examination and some tests that the specialist doctor deems necessary are applied.
Commonly used tests include:
Heart electrocardiography: The help of electrodes attached to the body, the electrical activity of the heart can be seen. Many diseases such as rhythm and conduction problems and thickening of the heart wall can be diagnosed.
Cardiac catheterization and angiography: 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 view the size, appearance and enlargement of the heart.
Holter ECG: Monitoring is performed for 24 hours with electrodes attached to the chest. With this method, heart condition is monitored in cases such as heart rhythm disorders, sudden shortness of breath, and fainting.
Echocardiography: This method, known as ECO, the dimensions of the heart chambers, heart valves, intra-cardiac pressure, heart wall movements, and the amount of blood ejected during a contraction can be determined.
Electrophysiology: 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: It is a method of two or three dimensional imaging of the heart in color 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.
Exercise Test: It is a test applied by sticking electrodes on the skin in the chest area. Congenital heart diseases, measurement of heart capacity, the stressed state of the heart and symptoms that occur during activity can be observed with this test.
The treatment of most congenital heart diseases is surgery. However, some small heart holes may close on their own, or even if they do not, they can be followed without surgery because they are very small. There are also congenital heart diseases that can be treated with a catheter. Valve and vessel stenosis can be expanded with a balloon during catheterization. At the same time, the heart holes can be closed with the help of a catheter. Different treatment processes and surgical procedures are required for each disease.