Annually in our country, around 800 children come to life with Congenital Heart disease, and in order for these children to pursue a normal and healthy life they have to undergo operations that might even cost more than 20,000 euros.
Pediatric Cardiologists point out that children born with Congenital Heart disease is essential to undergo the necessary surgery before they reach the first year of their life, as the success rate for this type of surgery is getting much higher in this case. In any other case where the surgery is delayed, the chances for success are eliminating and more interventional surgeries might be needed. In our country annually more than 120 Pediatric Cardiologist surgeries are taking place and mainly due to lack of information and knowledge.
The diagnosis for Congenital Heart disease is either happening from Pediatric Cardiologists or specialized gynecologist in maternal-fetal and performed by making fetal echocardiography at the 18th-22th weeks of pregnancy; the period of time where all pregnancies are getting checked. Today they are prenatally diagnosed the 80-90% of the congenital heart disease.
The fetal echocardiogram is usually indicated in twin pregnancies, with a Congenital Heart disease rate of 4-7% as well as in pregnancies happened from IVF treatments. It is also suggested in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy whenever there is a heart defect suspected and when the NT is abnormal, demonstrating a 32% risk for Congenital Heart disease.
Other factors that facilitate the appearance of Congenital Heart disease are
• The age of the mother
• Inheritance of Congenital Heart disease
• Diabetes, in case the mother is diagnosed with it
• Abnormal karyotype or even
• Abnormal fetal heart beat
According to the aforementioned, we always suggest and indicate as a must-do procedure the fetal heart ultrasound during pregnancy.