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Congenital Heart Disease (Adult)

Understanding Congenital Heart Disease

At CardioVascular Health Clinic, your heart health matters to us. 

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a heart defect at birth and are experiencing new or worsening symptoms consistent with congenital heart disease, don’t delay care, we are here to help you feel your best.

Let’s discuss congenital heart disease in more detail, including what it is, common symptoms, and effective treatment options fit for you.

What is Congenital Heart Disease?

Congenital heart disease is an umbrella term for heart defects that develop in utero. 

Defects can range from simple abnormalities that cause no symptoms to complex defects that can become life-threatening. 

The most common defects affect blood flow through the heart.

Congenital heart defects identified and treated at birth or during childhood can reappear later into adulthood. 

When defects reappear, it often indicates that existing problems may have worsened, the repair may not have fully resolved the issue, or complications from earlier surgeries have begun to form.


There is no one cause of congenital heart disease.

Congenital heart defects begin in the womb and can develop for various reasons, both hereditary and environmental. However, identifying a specific cause is often difficult, even when a specific type of defect is present. 

Risk factors may include:

  • genetic predisposition
  • certain medications the mother takes
  • mothers smoking while pregnant

Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease

Some congenital heart defects present no signs or symptoms or may not become apparent until well into adulthood. 

Symptoms of congenital heart disease in adults can include

  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat)
  • Cyanosis (skin with a bluish tint)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Edema (swelling of body tissue or organs)
  • Quick to tire after exertion

If you were diagnosed with or treated for a congenital heart defect in early childhood, take extra care to monitor any worsening symptoms. If you were not diagnosed with one but are experiencing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to seek medical help from cardiovascular experts for a proper diagnosis and a personalized care plan.

Congenital Heart Disease Treatment

Though many congenital heart defects can be identified before birth, they often require life-long care and monitoring. 

If left untreated, they can develop into arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or heart infection, and increase your risk of stroke.

When you visit, one of our experienced doctors will conduct various tests to determine the exact nature of your heart defect. 

Depending on the severity and risk, treatment can range anywhere from watchful waiting and medication to implantable heart devices, open-heart surgery, and, in extreme cases, a heart transplant.

Even if you feel you have outgrown or resolved a congenital heart defect, follow-up care, and routine exams are still vitally important because you are still at risk for developing complications. 

Be sure to disclose any previous conditions or defects to all of your medical providers to minimize the risk of exacerbating any problems.

CardioVascular Health Clinic boasts a dedicated team of qualified specialists whose sole focus is your heart’s health. 

With decades of combined experience, state-of-the-art technology, and a comprehensive approach to patient care, our physicians can offer Oklahomans unparalleled cardiovascular services every day. 

Congenital heart disease can hide in plain sight. If you were diagnosed with congenital heart disease, or suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from a defect, call CardioVascular Health Clinic today at (405) 701-9880 to schedule an appointment now.

Patient Resources

We’re committed to timely, efficient, and affordable care.
Here is a collection of useful resources our new and existing patients need in one convenient location.
Please let us know if you need additional information or have any questions.


I’m about one month out and things are so much better. At my two week evaluation my symptom score had gone from a 27 to a 7, and I’m sure it’s even better now. That speaks volumes. Now that I’m post recovery, there is no incontinence, I go to the bathroom much less and there are no ED side effects like there are with other procedures. In regard to my quality of life, well, I don’t maintain my life based on my proximity to a bathroom anymore.

Blaine P., M.D.
Professional staff working in a beautiful facility with great doctors who sincerely care about their patients. Without Dr. Schmidt's skill, I would have needed heart bypass surgery instead of a stent. Follow-up has been thorough. I can't recommend them highly enough.
LeAnn H.

Dr. Jim Melton and all the staff are fantastic. He is an excellent surgeon and his team is GREAT!!!! I just had surgery at the surgery center, I have only great things to say about my experience. Without him I really don't think I would be here to write this. If you’re looking for a good cardiovascular team, they are a 5 star for sure.

Susie H.

Dr. Parsons and staff are amazing. He truly listened to me from the consult. Staff showed genuine care for my progress post procedure. I had my follow up appointment today so satisfied with results. Blake made me comfortable from the start. He is an activist for uterine fibroids treatment beyond the standard.

Tamara M.

Professional and caring staff. Dr. Smith is very knowledgeable and shows genuine concern for your personal health. I enjoyed the background music in the procedure room, it really adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

David L.

Dr. John Schrader is the most personable doctor we know. He stays on top of my dads health care and is genuinely concerned about his health. We never leave his office with questions. He answers them all. Even questions we don’t think of. Always professional but never cold or bad bedside manner. In our opinion he is THE BEST around.
Thank you Dr Schrader.

Kathy J.

I came to Dr. Warren by a self referral for mals when it took me 8yrs 50+ doctors and thousands of dollars spent on no answers. My first visit I was scared I was just going to be gaslighted just like the past however I was pleasantly shocked when Dr. Warren immediately believed me. She took the time to review many disk I had brought from past tests. She never once dismissed me and listened to ever word I had to say. She scheduled one last test to confirm the diagnosis then I was scheduled for surgery right away. Surgery was a success and I can’t thank her and her staff enough. Dr. Warren truly saved my life.

Angie W.

Dr. Garner literally saved my life 18 months ago and I've followed him to his new practice with Cardiovascular Health. He explains things so clearly, listens and is just a very nice person. His staff is great, too! I highly recommend!

D Watts

Some of the nicest staff that I have ever dealt with!! They have been so incredibly awesome to my mom!! Would definitely recommend them to anyone!! Thank you so much for being so great with her!!

Christy G.

The staff, the nurses, and Dr. Parsons were all amazing. Everything was simple and went well – very Bravo Zulu (military phrase meaning "well done"). In addition to the great staff at CardioVascular Health Clinic, the facilities were clean and well maintained. I have no complaints about anything. The whole experience was A1. I would recommend Dr. Parsons to anyone. He made a huge impact on my life.

John W.

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