What is Pediatric Cardiology?
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Pediatric Cardiology is a medical specialty that deals with cardiac diseases or diseases dealing with the heart and can involve invasive and interventional procedures. Catheterization techniques have allowed results as good or even better as those obtained from cardiac surgery. The fact that endovascular techniques allow to operate without an open torax translate in a lot of advantages for the patients since they avoid having to stop the heart of the patient and consequentially using extra-corporal blood circulation, they also reduce dramatically the recovery and time spent at the hospital by the patient.
Other side benefits of pediatric catheterization worth mentioning are the reduced surgical scars and stress caused to the patient. Unfortunately not all cardiac problems can be solved using catheterization techniques, and sometimes much more invasive pediatric interventional cardiology procedures have to be used. The latest developments in pediatric cardiology, in particular those related to catheterization techniques, go much beyond this age group applying also to adults.
Pediatric interventional cardiology procedures nowadays are successful in solving many congenital heart problems, this lead to the point where today there are as many adult patients with congenital disorders as pediatric patients since many have reached adult age thanks to the development and improvement of the pediatric interventional cardiology. Of course these adult patients require a long term plan from their cardiologist and the full cooperation between cardiac surgeons and pediatric cardiologists, the need for a second intervention has, as always, higher risks and this planning from an early stage will provide a better chance to avoid future complications for the patient. Children with cardiac problems require periodic evaluation, the type of evaluation and frequency depend much on the type of abnormality and the natural evolution of it. Usually infants are evaluated more often since changes in the first year of life occur much more drastically.
Pediatric cardiology can correct many problem and diseases such as atrial septal defects, congenital valve problems, arrhythmia, bradycardia, congenital heart diseases, Ebstein's anomaly, Eisenmenger's syndrome, heart transplant, heart valve malfunction, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, mitral valve disease, mitral valve regurgitation, mitral valve stenosis, myocarditis, patent ductus arteriosus, pulmonary atresia, pulmonary valve disease, pulmonary regurgitation, pulmonary stenosis, tetralogy of Fallot, ventricular septal defects, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, innocent heart murmurs, Kawasaki's disease, long QT syndrome, rheumatic fever, tachycardia, tricuspid atresia, tricuspid valve disease, tricuspid valve regurgitation, tricuspid valve stenosis, and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.