Pediatric heart conditions in Kansas City
HCA Midwest's pediatric cardiologists specialize in diagnosing, treating and managing congenital (at birth) and developed heart conditions—from in-utero through adolescents. They also complete cardiac sports evaluations before children participate in physical activity and pre-surgery cardiac evaluations for kids needing surgery for any reason.
For more information or to speak with one of our specialists, schedule an appointment.
Local congenital heart disease experts
Our pediatric cardiologists partner with perinatologists (doctors who treat babies in the womb) to detect congenital problems early as possible, giving parents more time to make critical decisions.
Neonatologists, who are specialists in newborn care, may join the team as well. The center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and 24-hour pediatric inpatient and intensive care unit support infants and children throughout their journey.
Congenital heart abnormalities
Congenital heart problems are abnormalities in the heart structure, causing issues with its function—to pump blood into the lungs to get oxygen and then pump the oxygen-rich blood out to the body.
There are at least 18 different heart abnormalities, and children can have multiple heart abnormalities or variations. They are named for the parts of the heart they impact, including the two upper chambers (atria), two lower chambers (ventricles) and walls (septum) and the valves that separate them.
Types of heart abnormalities
A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole in the wall between ventricles that fails to close before birth. An atrial septal defect (ASD) is an abnormality in the wall between the atria. Heart valves can also be stiff (e.g., aortic valve stenosis) or missing (e.g., tricuspid valve atresia).
There are combinations of abnormalities often seen together, like the tetralogy of Fallot, which includes VSD, pulmonary stenosis (a narrowing of the large artery supplying blood to the lungs), a thickened heart muscle and a misplaced aorta.
Sometimes congenital heart abnormalities don’t require any treatment—a VSD may close on its own or not cause enough symptoms to require treatment until adulthood. But many others need one or more structural heart surgeries to correct.
The good news is that treatment is more successful than ever and available for many more conditions than were possible in the past.
Other pediatric heart conditions we treat
Children can develop heart problems at any time, sometimes related to infections (Kawasaki disease) or injuries.
Children may also develop heart arrhythmias, which are problems with the electrical impulses that tell the heart when to beat, leading to too fast, too slow or irregular rhythms. Arrhythmias can be acquired, or they can run in families.
Our pediatric cardiologists are also trained to treat the following conditions:
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Cardiac sports evaluations
- Chest pain
- Congenital heart disease
- Down syndrome
- Families with heart disease
- Fetal arrhythmia
- Fetal congenital heart disease
- Genetic syndromes
- Heart conditions in athletes
- Heart murmur
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kawasaki disease
- Marfan syndrome
- Rheumatic fever
Signs of a heart problem in children
Every type of heart problem will cause a specific set of symptoms. But, in general, children who have one or more of the following symptoms and conditions may be referred to a pediatric cardiologist for evaluation and treatment:
- Murmurs—heart sounds that can be heard when listening with a stethoscope, which may be innocent or signs of congenital heart abnormalities
- Cyanosis—a bluish tinge to the skin caused by lack of oxygen in circulating blood
- Chest pain—occurs mainly in older children because babies can’t tell you what they’re feeling
- Syncope—fainting or loss of consciousness
- Dizziness or light-headedness—sometimes called pre-syncope
- Palpitations—pounding heartbeat
- Arrhythmias—abnormally fast or slow heart rates or an irregular heart rhythm showed on an EKG (electrocardiogram)
- Hypertension—high blood pressure
- Failure to thrive—a term used to describe children who are not growing as expected
- Shortness of breath—difficulty breathing or unable to take deep breaths
- Family history—includes heart abnormalities, arrhythmia or any genetic disease that may have heart involvement
We offer various noninvasive diagnostic tests to all of our patients, such as:
- Electrocardiograms (ECG)
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Genetic testing
- Holter and event monitoring
- KidHeart screening
- Trans-telephonic monitoring
- Transthoracic echocardiography
- Treadmill stress testing
- Twelve lead ECG
- Stress echocardiograms