The type and timing of surgical repair depends on the child's condition and the type and severity of heart defects.
In general, symptoms that indicate that surgery is needed are:
- difficulty breathing because the lungs are wet, congested, or fluid-filled (congestive heart failure)
- problems with heart rate or rhythm (arrhythmias)
- excessive work load on heart that interferes with breathing, feeding, or sleeping
Update Date 12/10/2012
Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.