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Congenital Heart Defects

St. Joseph's Hospital provides advanced treatment for patients with congenital heart defects. Congenital heart defects are heart problems that you are born with. We offer comprehensive services for both children and adults with congenital heart defects.

Congenital Heart Defects: Advanced Care in Tampa, FL

Our congenital heart team cares for you from before birth through adulthood. Children born with heart defects are living long lives, requiring continuing care as adults. Our pediatric and adult cardiologists collaborate to help you manage your care and live a full, productive life. At St. Joseph's, the transition from pediatric heart care to adult heart care is seamless and smooth, improving your outcome and overall health.

Perinatal Cardiology

Perinatal cardiology refers to cardiac care that begins even before a baby is born. Our perinatal cardiologists specialize in providing the full spectrum of care for patients with congenital heart defects. The teams at St. Joseph's Hospital, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital and St. Joseph's Women's Hospital all collaborate to ensure you and your baby are receiving the most effective, complete care possible. Our services include:

  • Diagnosing heart disorders in babies while the mother is still pregnant
  • Counseling and preparation for treatment during pregnancy
  • Early intervention once baby is born
  • Preparing for and performing heart surgery
  • Follow-up treatment into adulthood

Congenital Heart Defects in Children

Knowing your child has a heart defect may leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. However, the skilled, compassionate team St. Joseph's Children's Hospital will be with you every step of the way. Our pediatric heart team has the expertise and resources to perform even the most complex procedures on babies, both before and after birth. We take the time to explain treatment options, and we encourage you to be an active member of your child's heart team.

You can feel confident knowing that our center has a higher success rate for treating complex cardiac conditions than many of the larger heart centers around the country. No matter what your child needs, our experienced team can provide it.

Learn more about pediatric cardiology at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. Watch our patient stories.

Congenital Heart Defects in Adults

Most of the time, we are able to address and correct congenital heart defects in childhood. However, you may require care as an adult because:

  • Some conditions require long-term follow up as adults
  • Some conditions do not present themselves for years, so we do not notice them until you are already an adult

We provide the full spectrum of heart care services to our adult patients. Your team includes both a pediatric cardiologist and an adult cardiologist, working together to manage your care.

Congenital Heart Defects: The St. Joseph's Approach

An adult who needs care for a congenital heart defect requires a multidisciplinary team of:

  • Pediatric cardiologists
  • Adult cardiologists
  • Cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Other specialists

Working together, these specialists can treat issues that may result from the heart condition. Your doctor at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is skilled at assembling the proper team for diagnosis and treatment, with immediate access to health care professionals at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Congenital Heart Defects in Adults: Symptoms

If you had heart surgery as a child, you may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease as an adult. You may experience symptoms of heart problems as an adult for a few reasons:

  • Your condition was not serious when you were a child, so doctors never treated it. Since then, the condition and symptoms have worsened.
  • Doctors treated your condition years ago and scar tissue has developed, causing symptoms.

Be on the lookout for any unusual symptoms and call your doctor if you experience:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Bluish tint to the skin, known as cyanosis
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Swelling, called edema

Contact Us

Contact the pediatric heart departments at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital for more information about our services for children and adults with congenital heart defects.



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3001 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. • Tampa, FL 33607 • (813) 870-4000