Children's Hospital Colorado
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD)

We specialize in the big things, the small things and everything in between.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Cardiology 2021-2 Badge

Get Care

Would you like to learn more about us?
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
Are you ready to schedule an appointment?
Schedule an appointment
Do you have questions about this condition?
Call

What is adult congenital heart disease?

As babies who are born with pediatric congenital heart disease grow up to become adolescents and adults, they have what is known as adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Congenital heart disease is caused by a malformation during development of the heart while a baby is still in the womb. This is different than acquired heart conditions that occur later in life.

Adults with congenital heart defects may have unique issues that require visits with specially trained cardiologists, such as a history of heart surgery or other medical problems that occur in adulthood.

When is adult congenital heart disease diagnosed?

With today's diagnostic tests, cardiologists can usually detect and diagnose congenital heart defects in utero (during the mother's pregnancy), soon after birth or before a child reaches school age. However, in some cases, these conditions go unnoticed until a person becomes an adult.

If you are a newly-diagnosed adult, you may have wondered why you didn't experience symptoms in childhood. In this case, your underlying defect may not be severe. It can take many years for some heart defects to cause symptoms.

Why are adult congenital heart disease specialists needed?

Adult congenital heart disease requires a specialized team of doctors. For the best treatment outcomes, these doctors should have training and experience in congenital heart defects and their impact on adults, such as managing heart disease during pregnancy. The patient support organization Conquering CHD estimates that the vast majority of adults living with congenital heart disease are not receiving proper cardiology care.

At Children's Hospital Colorado, experts in the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program have additional specialty training to care for these unique patients. Watch the video below to meet three patients with ACHD and how they found the lifetime care they need in our nationally ranked Heart Institute.

Next steps

  • Would you like to learn more about us?

    Learn more about the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
  • Do you have questions about this condition?

    720-777-2243
  • Are you ready to schedule an appointment?

    Schedule an appointment

Compassionate care, wherever you are

We’re here when you need us. Telehealth appointments are available across every specialty, so you can get the high-quality care we’ve always offered from the comfort, privacy and convenience of home.

See if telehealth is right for you

 

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Kathryn Chatfield, MD

Kathryn Chatfield, MD

Clinical Genetics and Genomics - General, Cardiology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Matthew Stone, MD

Matthew Stone, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Surgery

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Gareth Morgan, MD

Gareth Morgan, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiology - Pediatric

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

James Jaggers, MD

James Jaggers, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?