What treatment will my baby need for the heart problem?
Many babies who have heart disease need medicine to make their heart stronger or to prevent other problems. It's very important to give the medicine just the way your doctor tells you to. Try not to skip a dose. If you do forget a dose, call your doctor to find out if you should give an extra dose.
What about surgery? Do all babies who have heart problems need surgery?
Surgery depends on the type of heart problem your baby has. Some heart problems have to be fixed as soon as the baby is born. Other problems can wait until the child is older. Sometimes the repair takes more than one operation.
After surgery, your baby will stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) for a few days so the doctors and nurses can keep a close watch. Tubes and machines keep track of your child's condition. They don't cause any pain. Many children are back at play just a few days after heart surgery.
Caring for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease and Their Families by RB Saenz, M.D., DK Beebe, M.D., and LC Triplett, M.D. (American Family Physician April 01, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990401ap/1857.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff