Congenital Heart Disease Treatments

Congenital Heart Disease Treatment in Burlington, VT

As one of the leading cardiology programs in the region, Fletcher Allen offers a broad range of treatments for atrial septal defect and other congenital heart defects. Patients have access to cutting-edge technology and the latest therapies available. You have the benefit of working with highly trained and experienced non-invasive congenital heart experts, interventional cardiologists, as well as consultation with cardiac surgeons, who are on the frontiers of developments in cardiac medicine.

In addition, all aspects of cardiac care at Fletcher Allen are supported by a team of knowledgeable and skilled nurses and other health care practitioners. These caring professionals are instrumental in providing you with the highest quality care available, and the support you need.

If you and your cardiologist determine that a procedure is the best course of treatment to address your condition, then at Fletcher Allen you have access to highly specialized care provided by our interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. These are physicians with advanced training and expertise in performing cardiac procedures such as coronary angioplasty and stenting, coronary artery bypass surgery and congenital heart defect correction are found only at advanced-level care centers like Fletcher Allen – the only center of this kind in Vermont.

Treatment options for congenital heart disease at Fletcher Allen include:

  • Non-Surgical Treatments, including:
    • Observation
    • Medication
  • Surgical and Catheter-Based Treatments, including:
    • Catheter-Based Closure
    • Open-Heart Surgery

Non-Surgical Treatments

The adult congenital heart disease clinic at our Tilley Drive, South Burlington, Vermont location will have experts that direct the non-invasive care of your heart disease. These non-invasive approaches and therapies include:  

Observation

If you have a small defect with no symptoms, you may only need routine monitoring by a cardiologist. Periodic check-ups may include the following:

Medication

While medications cannot correct your congenital heart defect, they may be used to relieve some of the symptoms. For large defects, medications do not affect the long-term risks of heart failure or heart rhythm disorders.

Surgical and Catheter-Based Treatments

We offer the full range of surgical procedures to treat all types of congenital heart disease. 

Our interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons have a depth of expertise in repairing structural heart problems. We provide the latest treatments and therapies to repair your congenital heart defect and restore normal blood flow.

Fletcher Allen Health Care has a long tradition of successful cardiac surgery and is the only cardiac surgery program in the state of Vermont.

Catheter-Based Closure

Patients in Fletcher Allen’s advanced Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory undergo closure for all types of congenital heart disease in adults:

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  • Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

With this procedure, an interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin and guides it to the heart. The procedure is performed using guidance from x-ray and ultrasound. Using the catheter, the interventional cardiologist inserts a metal and fabric device to close the hole. Heart tissue eventually grows into and around the device, sealing the defect. Not all atrial septal defects can be closed with this technique and thus your interventional cardiologist will work closely with our non-invasive cardiology/imaging experts as well as our cardiac surgery team to recommend the best therapy.

This service is the only one of its type in Vermont; our interventional cardiologists at Fletcher Allen Health Care perform almost 5,000 catheter-based procedures every year, including procedures to help pediatric and adult patients with congenital heart disease.

Open-Heart Surgery

Some patients with congenital heart defects may require open-heart surgery. 

Fletcher Allen has a considerable history of performing open-heart surgery. Cardiac surgeons have performed thousands of life-saving cardiac surgeries at our organization for more than 50 years. 

Our surgical team is experienced and highly trained in repairing atrial septal defect and other structural heart problems.

Learn more about Congenital Heart Disease diagnosis.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-4600.