Adult Congenital Heart Disease

In Maryland, University of Maryland Physicians Care for the Most Heart Surgery Patients - University of Maryland Medical Center

Thanks to advances in heart care, children born with congenital heart defects are living long, full lives. Our expert team customizes a treatment plan that meets your individual needs as you shift from pediatric to adult care.

To speak with a congenital heart specialist, call 410-328-1344.

Features of our care include:

  • Access to the latest heart technology: Many of the advances in heart technology are tailored to adults who acquire heart disease later in life. Because our team has deep expertise using latest heart technology, they can use it to meet the special needs of our congenital heart patients.
  • Dedication to minimally invasive procedures: We use the most minimally invasive approach possible. Many heart treatments that previously required open heart surgery we can now perform using a catheter-based approach, leading to an easier recovery and less scarring.
  • Care for pregnant patients: For our female patients contemplating pregnancy, our experts can see you safely through your pregnancy. We collaborate with the hospital’s Center for Advanced Fetal Care (CAFCA) to provide advanced, ongoing care during pregnancy and birth.
  • Comprehensive patient care: As you grow older, you may develop conditions that often come with age, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. Treating these conditions in congenital heart patients requires specialized care from our experts. We incorporate care for these other health conditions into your visits so we can manage, treat and even prevent problems.
  • Meet our Congenital
    Heart Team
  • Personalized care: We have a reputation for taking on the most complex cases, including patients who were turned down elsewhere for treatment. We work tirelessly to come up with a way to solve your problem and give you the best chance at a long, healthy life.

Learn more about our Fetal Heart Program and our Children's Heart Program.

You have probably had a cardiologist since a very young age, possibly even from birth. As you develop into an adult, your heart care must change with you. You are no longer a child with a congenital heart disease, and your needs are different than those of an adult who acquired heart disease at a later age. Our congenital heart specialists focus exclusively on this unique population of adults living with a congenital heart condition.

Our Adult Congenital Heart Program helps you transition smoothly from childhood to adulthood:

  • Highly specialized team: You receive the care and expertise of not one, but three experienced heart specialists: a congenital heart surgeon, a cardiologist and an interventional cardiologist. This enables us to provide you with the most effective, comprehensive and advanced care possible.
  • Collaborative care: Collaboration is at the core of what we do, so you are always getting the expertise of our entire team. We work together every step of the way to make heart care decisions that will give you the best long-term outcome.
  • Seamless transition: Our heart surgeons perform both pediatric and adult surgeries, providing a seamless transition to adult care. In addition, we follow our patients from childhood to adulthood, so your care is uninterrupted. 
  • One location: We provide care for our adult and pediatric congenital heart patients in the same location. Our pediatric and adult heart teams seamlessly work together at all times, so no matter where you are, you receive integrated, seamless and expert care.

We offer the full spectrum of adult congenital heart services. No matter what type of surgery you need, from the routine to the complex, our expert heart specialists can provide it. We also offer a wide variety of support services, including a support group for adult congenital heart patients and social activities for our patients. Learn more about our Congenital Heart Support Group.

Cardiogenetic Testing

At our Cardiogenetics Clinic, we perform genetic screening and counseling in families with a history of congenital heart conditions. Our cardiogenetic specialists work with you to decide if genetic testing is right for you or your family members. Many family members choose to get tested for the peace of mind it provides. Whether the result is positive or negative for the gene, the knowledge means that families can plan for their future health. Learn more about cardiogenetic testing.

Adult Congenital Heart Surgery

We perform many of our procedures in our hybrid OR, which gives us the ability to provide you with the least invasive, most effective surgery possible.

Surgeries we perform include:

  • Valve repair: We always try to determine if valve repair is an option before doing a valve replacement. Learn more about our valve surgery program at the Heart and Vascular Center.
  • Reoperations for Baffle obstructions, a surgery to treat transposition of the great arteries
  • Hypertrophic obstructive myopathy surgery, including a procedure to remove part of the thickened septum between the ventricles
  • Advanced revision surgeries, a surgery you may need as an adult to revise an operation you had as a child. 

Minimally Invasive Valve Repairs

Valve problems are one of the most common congenital heart conditions. Our specialists are pioneers in minimally invasive valve surgeries. Our team can replace nearly every valve in the heart using a catheter-based approach, without needing open heart surgery.

While this is good news for any heart patient, it is especially important for our congenital heart patients. If you have a congenital heart disease, you most likely had one or more heart surgeries as a child. The risk of open heart surgeries grows with each procedure. Minimally invasive valve surgeries use a percutaneous (through the skin) approach, reducing that risk while providing you with an effective, safe procedure. It also leads to a shorter recovery time.

Our team also performs complex hybrid surgeries. If we cannot get the results you need using a catheter-based approach, we use a hybrid procedure. This uses an incision, but a much smaller one than you would need for an open heart surgery. Hybrid procedures combine the best of the surgical and catheter-based interventions to ensure you get the best results possible.

Minimally invasive, percutaneous valve repairs offered:

  • Percutaneous pulmonary valve replacement
  • Percutaneous tricuspid valve replacement
  • Percutaneous tricuspid valve repair 
  • Valve-in-valve replacement for pulmonary and tricuspid valve
  • Mitral clip technology for mitral valve disease 

Common congenital heart conditions we treat include:

  • Tetralogy of Fallot, which causes low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Transposition of the great vessels, when the aorta and pulmonary arteries are switched in position
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which a portion of the heart muscle is thickened
  • Hypoplastic heart syndrome, in which one side of the heart is underdeveloped
  • Pulmonary atresia, in which the pulmonary valve has not formed correctly
  • Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder
  • Ebstein’s anomaly, in which the tricuspid valve does not work properly, allowing blood to leak back through the valve
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues

When you come to our Adult Congenital Heart Program, you are receiving care from an experienced team with expertise in many subspecialties.

Our congenital heart team includes:

  • Congenital heart surgeons
  • Pediatric and adult cardiologists
  • Interventional cardiologists
  • Maternal-fetal specialists
  • Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists
  • Electrophysiologists
  • OR team on call 24/7
  • Intensive care unit (ICU) for our pediatric heart patients
  • Skilled nurse practitioners specializing in heart conditions
  • Center for Advanced Fetal Care (CAFCA), where we diagnose and treat babies before they are born