Your Guide To AVSD When Your Child With Down's Syndrome Has Been Diagnosed With It

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It's important to note that Down's Syndrome has become more common in recent years and about one out of every two children born with it will have heart abnormalities of some type. Therefore, many newborns and very young infants will be seen by a pediatric cardiologist and may continue to be cared for by that person until he or she is an adult. As a result, in order to provide your little one with the best possible care, it's best to consider the following information when planning for your baby's future medical care.

Understanding What Atrioventricular Septal Defect Is

Atrioventricular Septal Defect, or AVSD, is the most common heart condition for people with Down's Syndrome. It presents with a hole in the middle of the heart and varying levels of deformation between the parts of the heart that pump blood out as the parts of the heart where the blood comes back, including the heart valves.

Surgery is always necessary, as explained below. However, since there are risks to any surgery, it's not unusual to delay the surgery until newborns with it are medically stable.

Planning For Surgical Intervention

It is important to understand that surgery for the heart defect will not cure it. It will improve the condition of the heart and reduce the possibility of secondary damage, such as damage to the lungs. The leaky valves associated with AVSD will not improve on their own and the complications of avoiding care long-term for AVSD include death.

In addition, many people with AVSD need additional surgeries in the future in order to stay healthy. as the l leaky valves can be problematic as a patient grows. If your son or daughter were to experience any unexplained weight gain or fluid retention in the future, even if it occurs soon after the surgery, you should speak with their heart doctor as soon as you can. 

In conclusion, children who have been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome are at a much higher risk than the general public to be born with some type of heart condition. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance imperative to be sure that your child who has that genetic disorder is seen by a cardiologist soon after birth, even if he or she does not present with a heart condition at birth. Given that AVSD is so common amongst persons with Down's Syndrome, many surgeries to address it happy safely and effectively every year.