Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
For the first time in history, more adults than children are living with congenital heart disease (CHD). Medical and surgical breakthroughs have improved outcomes for children with CHD and have allowed the majority of children treated over the past few decades to survive into adulthood. In 2009, the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care established the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, only the second of its kind in the New York metropolitan area, led by George Lui, MD, Medical Director, and Samuel Weinstein, MD, Surgical Director.
CHD patients often leave the medical system when they reach adulthood, only to return in their late 20s or 30s during a crisis. This postadolescent period is a critical time for these patients. Unless these special patients receive close follow-up care, they are at risk for future complications as they grow into adulthood. In fact, 50 percent of patients born with complex heart defects will develop new heart complications as they get older. The Transition Program at Montefiore Medical Center and The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) – the only children’s hospital of its kind in the Bronx – helps teenagers take control of their disease as they transition to adulthood.
Collaboration and Research in Caring for Pregnant Women with Congenital Heart Disease
Women with CHD who survive into their childbearing years may consider pregnancy. Under the close supervision of Montefiore’s multidisciplinary team, women who have had successful cardiac surgery can successfully complete pregnancy.
The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program collaborates with our nationally known Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health obstetrics department, as well as the Departments of Neonatology and Perinatology, which are all located on the east campus of Montefiore Medical Center. This multidisciplinary team of specialists provides comprehensive care and maintains the highest level of fetal health throughout even the most difficult pregnancies. Dr. Lui is an expert in pregnancy and adult congenital disorders. He recently published his findings on the predictive value of exercise testing and pregnancy outcome in women with CHD in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, and was awarded the outstanding research award in pediatric cardiology at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in 2009.
CHD patients may develop heart failure or rhythm disturbances later in life that require additional intervention and possible surgery. Recent medical research indicates that adult patients with congenital cardiac disease have better outcomes if treated by surgeons specifically trained to operate on patients with congenital heart problems. The multidisciplinary team at Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care offers every cardiac treatment and service available, and its team includes the area's most experienced cardiologists, cardiac interventionalists, electrophysiologists, cardiac surgeons, heart failure and transplant specialists and national leaders in cardiac research.