A Resource for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

The smallest patients require the most compassionate care. Our team of interventional pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are supported by physicians, intensivists, nurses, and anesthesiologists. Together they provide children with the most effective, highest quality cardiovascular care in the world. We can determine if heart murmurs, chest pain, dizzy spells, palpitations, or other symptoms indicate a potential congenital or acquired heart problem. Whenever possible, our surgical team chooses minimally invasive procedures. In the event that a more invasive approach is required, our team uses clinically advanced best practices to reduce risk and prevent infection. We realize this is a highly stressful time for parents. Our clinical team communicates with family members regularly to keep them up-to-date on the status of their child.

Health City Cayman Islands has earned distinction in pediatric cardiovascular cathlab interventions and the care of complex cardiac conditions. We have achieved levels of excellence in pediatric cardiac interventions and surgery with cardiologists and surgeons who have performed more than 1,000 diagnostic catheterization procedures for the evaluation of simple and complex congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.

A sample of the minimally invasive cathlab procedures we perform include:

  • Device closure of the atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, and PDA
  • Balloon valvuloplasties for pulmonary and aortic valve stenosis
  • Stenting for coarctation of aorta and pulmonary artery stenosis
  • Embolization of collaterals
  • Additional complex surgeries

Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the most common type of birth defect, accounting for nearly one-third of all major congenital anomalies. In an article published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the authors cited a worldwide study population of 24,091,867 live births, with CHD identified in 164,396 individuals. 

A defect results when the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally in utero. There are many types of congenital heart defects, but the most common one occurs when the muscular wall (septum) separating the bottom chambers of the heart (right and left ventricles) doesn't fully form – in lay terms this is referred to as a hole in the heart.

A sampling of the congenital heart defects we treat at Health City Cayman Islands include:

Shunt lesions (Hole in the heart)
This is a hole in the wall (septum) that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart. A small hole may close on its own, but a larger one usually requires device closure or surgery.
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
This is a hole in the wall (septum) that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart. A small hole may close on its own, but a larger one usually requires device closure or surgery
Ventricle Septal Defect (VSD)
This defect involves a hole in the wall (septum) separating the two lower chambers of the heart. The oxygen-rich blood then gets pumped back to the lungs instead of out to the body, causing the heart to pump harder. A small hole may close on its own, but a larger one usually requires device closure or surgery.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Closure
This is a fairly common congenital heart defect that occurs when a temporary blood vessel, called the ductus arteriosus, does not close soon after birth. This can cause an enlarged heart and elevated lung pressure. In rare cases, PDA goes undetected until adulthood, when the patient experiences symptoms including heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs). Most of the PDA’s are treated with minimally invasive device closure.
Atrioventricular (AV) Canal Defect
There are two types of atrioventricular canal defects: complete and partial. The complete form is a combination of several closely related heart problems that result in a large defect in the centre of the heart, affecting all four chambers where they would normally be divided. The defect allows extra blood to flow to the lungs, causing the heart to overwork and the heart muscle to enlarge.
Transposition Of The Great Arteries (TGA)
This heart defect, which is present at birth, the two main arteries leading out of the heart, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, are switched in position or transposed.
Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation
This heart defect, which is present at birth, the two main arteries leading out of the heart, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, are switched in position or transposed.
Pulmonary Stenosis
In this heart defect, the valve guarding the pulmonary artery (blood vessels supplying the lungs), is narrow/doesn’t open fully leading to turbulent jets of blood entering the artery. The pressure in the right ventricle goes up, sometimes above the left ventricle pressures (normal LV pressure is 5 times that of the right side) leading to ventricular failure. Most of these patients can be treated by minimally invasive interventions called Balloon Pulmonary Valvuloplasty, where the valve opened up by specially designed balloons in the cathlab.
Aortic Valve Stenosis
The valve abnormality is similar to pulmonary stenosis, but is on the left side. This is more dangerous as the blood vessel carries blood to the whole body. The valve can be opened by specially designed balloons in the cathlab; the patient has to be on regular follow up and may require surgery (valve repair/replacement) in the long run.
Mitral Regurgitation
When the mitral valve – which guards the left atrium (LA) / left ventricle (LV) blood flow – does not close tightly, it can leak blood back into the left atrium and cause extra load on the heart. For severe leak, the valve has to either be repaired or replaced. Our surgical team has vast expertise in repairing the mitral valve, which can allow the patient to avoid artificial replacement of the valve and the permanent need for blood thinners.
Aortic Regurgitation
Here the blood leakes back from the aorta to the left ventricle, causing the left ventricle to dilate and if not treated leads to left ventricular failure. This could be caused by various conditions, such as bicuspid aortic valve, Marfan syndrome, and rheumatic heart disease. The treatment is to repair or replace the valve. Our surgical team has expertise in diseases of the aortic valve.

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Please call us at 1 (345) 640-4040, or fill out our simple contact form, to receive personalized information about these congenital heart defects and the surgical procedures we perform at Health City Cayman Islands to help infants, children and adolescents with heart conditions.