What is an Adult Congenital Cardiologist?

Adult congenital cardiologists are pediatric or adult cardiologists who have additional training and board-certification in adult congenital cardiology. According to the American College of Cardiology’s most recent guidelines, adults with congenital heart disease should continue to receive care during their adult years to ensure their heart disease remains well managed and problems, if any, are identified, investigated and appropriately treated. Cardiologists should also help patients adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Adult congenital cardiologists work in conjunction with cardiologists, congenital cardiothoracic surgeons and other specialists to provide complete care for patients at all stages of adulthood. Along with a high-risk OB team, they can help with pre-pregnancy counseling and monitor cardiac status during pregnancy, including screening for fetal heart disease to help ensure a healthy outcome for both mom and baby.

Some adult congenital cardiologists also perform heart catheterizations to minimize or eliminate the need for open-heart surgery in adulthood.

Who Needs to See an Adult Congenital Cardiologist?

  • Adults who were born with any congenital heart defect
  • Anyone who had cardiac surgery at less than 18 years of age
  • Anyone who was followed by a pediatric cardiologist and required transcatheter or surgical treatment
  • Adults with ACHD who are being seen by a cardiologist or pediatric cardiologist and would like a second opinion
  • Any female with congenital heart disease who is pregnant or planning a pregnancy