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Some children with congenital heart defects require multiple procedures and surgeries throughout life.

Although the outcomes for children with heart defects have improved dramatically, most people, except those with very simple defects, will require ongoing care, even after corrective surgery.

Lifelong monitoring and treatment.

Even if your child has surgery to treat a heart defect, your child's condition will need to be monitored for the rest of his or her life by specialist team

Initially, your child with a congenital heart defect will be monitored and have regular follow-up appointments with a paediatric cardiologist. As your child grows older, care will transition to an Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) cardiologist, who can monitor his or her condition over time. A congenital heart defect can affect your child's adult life, as it can contribute to other health problems. Adults who have congenital heart defects may need other treatments for their condition.

As your child ages, it's important to remind him or her of the heart condition that was corrected and the need for ongoing, lifelong care by doctors experienced in evaluating and treating congenital heart disease. Encourage your child to keep his or her doctor informed about the heart defect and the procedures performed to treat the problem.

Exercise restrictions.

Parents of children with congenital heart defects may worry about the risks undertaking regular exercise or play sports, even after successful treatment. Although some children might be limited in the amount or type of exercise, many can participate in normal or near-normal sport activity.

Infection prevention.

Depending on the type of congenital heart defect your child had, and the surgery used to correct it, your child may need to take extra steps to prevent infection.

Sometimes, a congenital heart defect can increase the risk of infections — either in the lining of the heart or heart valves (infective endocarditis). Because of this risk, your child may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection before additional surgeries or other procedures like dental of aesthetic procedures.

Children who are most likely to have a higher risk of infection include those whose defect was repaired with a prosthetic material or device, such as an artificial heart valve.

Ask your child's cardiologist if preventive antibiotics are necessary for your child.