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
Review Date 2/11/2020
Updated by: Todd Campbell, MD, FACS, Clinical Assistant Professor Department of Surgery, Volunteer Faculty, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, NJ; Medical Director, Independence Blue Cross. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.