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Some cases of CHD may heal themselves. Others may remain but don’t require any treatment while others must be treated soon after birth.

Anyone with a heart defect should see a heart specialist (cardiologist) regularly throughout their life. Be sure the cardiologist has training and expertise in congenital heart defects.

Treatment for CHD may involve:

  • Catheter procedure to place a plug into the defect.
  • Medications to help your heart work more efficiently or to control blood pressure.
  • Nonsurgical procedure to close a defect using a closing device.
  • Oxygen therapy, which provides higher levels of oxygen than normal room air would.
  • Prostaglandin E1, which relaxes smooth heart muscle and can keep open the ductus arteriosus (a blood vessel normally closed after birth) helping provide needed circulation.
  • Surgery to repair a defect, open up blood flow or redirect blood. In severe cases, a heart transplant may be necessary.

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