Carolinas HealthCare System
ACHD Patient Videos
See how the physicians at Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, performed an advanced valve replacement procedure to help Christopher Carlson overcome a congenital heart ailment. (3:27)

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect in the United States. About nine people in 1,000 are born with a congenital heart defect.

Due to medical advances and progress in treatment, patients with congenital heart disease – who historically did not live beyond childhood or adolescence – are reaching adulthood.

Adults with CHD face unique challenges. Adults who received treatment for their heart defect as a child may go into adulthood thinking that they have been "cured" and they no longer need to seek additional treatment for their heart condition. However, depending on the complexity of the heart condition, adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients require frequent follow-up and testing and sometimes need additional surgical intervention.

Congenital heart disease complications may not develop until years after initial treatment. Some common complications that arise in adulthood include:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Hypoxia
  • Easy fatigability
  • Stroke
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Heart valve problems

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Support Group: A Place for Patients to Foster Understanding

Register to attend our free monthly support group in Charlotte with our ACHD program care provider and ACHD survivor, Katie Smiley, PA-C, to get your questions answered, talk with others and see first-hand why it’s important not only to receive regular care for ACHD, but to make sure it’s the right kind of care. 

Email: | Phone: 704-381-3916

Become a Member of Our Free Adult Congenital Support Group

Don’t Live Near Charlotte? Sign up here to receive monthly summaries of our support groups and access to our support group emails.

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