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World-Class Cardiac Rehabilitation At Ditmas Park In Brooklyn

At Ditmas Park Rehab, we specialize in cardiovascular health and rehabilitation and our cardiac rehab patients do extremely well at our facility.

Regardless of the particular condition, we are able to provide a holistic and personalized therapy treatment plan to maximize the healing prognosis for every patient.

Our good friend, Rebecca Evans of, has put together this excellent overview of common heart defects and has additionally provided her amazing infographic below, just for our Ditmas Park readers.

Thank you Rebecca!

Common Heart Defects

There are many different types of congenital heart defects, including at least 18 different types. Fortunately, though, most of these can be fixed, especially if caught early, so if your child is diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, there’s a very good chance that your doctor, working with a team of specialists, can help ensure your child grows up with a healthy, normal adult life.

In a healthy heart, arteries, chambers, and valves work in concert to circulate the blood throughout the body in a pattern—body; heart; lungs; heart; body—which helps ensure oxygenated blood gets moved throughout the body and all systems are well served. When any of these pieces are malformed, however, circulation and bodily function may be impaired, and with a congenital heart defect this may be the case from birth.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common congenital heart defects, though, so that if you hear any of the following words you know what your doctor is talking about.

Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS)

In AVS, a valve that allows blood out of the heart may not work properly, resulting in leaked blood or built up pressure in the heart, both of which can cause harm.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

In ASD, the two top chambers of the heart are connected by a hole in the septum (the wall between the two atria, or chambers) that isn’t supposed to be there, which allows oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to mix.

Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA)

In CoA, the aorta is narrowed, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the body. This results in high blood pressure (hypertension) and can cause heart damage.

Complete Atrioventricular Canal defect (CAVC)

In CAVC, the four chambers are not properly divided, courtesy a large hole in the center of the heart. As a result, oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood mix and blood is not properly routed in circulation.

d-Transposition of the great arteries

In d-Transposition, the arteries carrying blood away from the heart have been switched, meaning blood is either not sent to the lungs or isn’t sent to the body after visiting to the lungs. In either case, blood cannot be properly oxygenated for the rest of the body, so it is fatal unless there are leakages in the heart that allow oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood to mix.

Ebstein’s Anomaly

In Ebstein’s Anomaly, blood may leak from the lower chambers to the upper chambers on the right side because a valve does not properly close. Ebstein’s Anomaly is frequently seen in combination with ASD.

I-transposition of the great arteries

If d-transposition is nearly immediately fatal, I-transposition is slightly less scary because both sides of the lower section are swapped, meaning the body can still get both oxygen-rich blood and the lungs oxygen-poor blood.

Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)

PDA is the result of a hole that is supposed to close after birth in the aorta not closing. Because a fetus doesn’t need blood to be oxygenated by the lungs, the ductus arteriosis allows their circulatory system to skip that step while in vitro. Once born, however, this is no longer the case, and the ductus arteriosis is supposed to close. If it doesn’t, such as in PDA, problems may arise as the blood may not be properly oxygenated.

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

If the pulmonary valve does not properly open and close, we call that stenosis, and it allows blood to flow improperly. This is usually the result of an improperly thickened or even fused valve.

Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC) or Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)

In TAPVC, oxygenated blood gains access to the wrong chamber of the heart because the veins from the lungs to the heart are incorrectly routed. In TAPVR, oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood are mixed incorrectly. In both cases, oxygenation can be a major issue.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

In VSD a hole in the septum between the two lower ventricular chambers allows oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood to mix, which can result in both lower oxygenation to the body and high pressure within the heart.

There are many other congenital heart defects that cardiologists will watch for when your baby is born, too, but these are the most common.

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