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Congenital Heart Disease

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What is Congenital Heart Disease?

Congenital heart disease (CHD) refers to defects in the heart, its valves, or its arteries that are present from birth.

Years ago, babies born with heart defects often didn’t survive. But thanks to medical and surgical advances, many people who have congenital heart disease now live far into adulthood. 

Congenital heart defects are some of the most common birth defects, but CHD can be discovered and treated in any phase of life. Fetal congenital heart disease is caught during pregnancy, while some people go through childhood, adolescence, and even into adulthood before ever knowing they have this condition.

No matter when it's diagnosed, anyone living with congenital heart disease needs highly specialized care to stay healthy.

UR Medicine's Treatments for Congenital Heart Disease

At UR Medicine‚Äôs Congenital Heart Disease Program, our surgeons specialize in the most effective surgical procedures for correcting these conditions. This includes treatments for adult patients to provide greater potential for a long, healthy life. 

Some procedures we specialize in include:

  • Widening an aorta to treat coarctation (narrowing in the aorta).
  • Repairing or closing ventricular or atrial septal defects and atrioventricular valves.
  • Stretching or widening the pulmonic valve and closing a ventricular septal defect to correct the condition known as tetralogy of fallot.
  • Moving the great arteries and coronary arteries back to their normal position to cure transposition of the great arteries.

Our surgeons also perform congenital heart surgery to make patients feel more comfortable. Some common procedures include:

  • Blalock-Taussig procedure, in which the surgeon inserts a tube to connect the aorta to the pulmonary artery to increase the flow of blood to the lungs.
  • Fontan procedure, which helps patients who have a single ventricle by allowing deoxygenated blood flow into the lungs, avoiding the heart, so the ventricle can pump oxygenated blood.
  • Pulmonary artery band, in which a band is placed around the pulmonary artery to restrict the flow of blood to the lungs.

Patient Stories

Arrhythmia Stopped her Heart

Brynn Taylor was born with a rare, life-threatening heart defect. Weighing just 2 pounds at birth, Brynn would need to wait until she weighed 5 pounds to have open-heart surgery at UR Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital.

Overcoming a Congenital Heart Defect

Rusty Lawrence was born with a congenital heart defect. Doctors didn't expect him to live past the age of three. By age 43, Rusty was dying of congestive heart failure. His only hope was a heart transplant.

What Sets Us Apart?

Heart care includes much more than surgery. UR Medicine Cardiac Care leads the region in the number and scope of specialized services.

Patients receive specially tailored care through our Congenital Heart Disease Program. It is unique to upstate New York, featuring:

  • A team that works closely with pediatric cardiologists to provide the specialized care needed.
  • Tools and guidance to help patients stay healthier by optimizing medications and factoring in other problems such as high blood pressure or arrhythmia.
  • Sonographers specially trained in imaging of hearts affected by congenital defects.
  • Collaboration with surgeons to plan for future surgeries when needed.
  • Close connections to research that can provide our patients with access to new treatments that may not be available anywhere else.

Our team of experts includes vascular and endovascular surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and cardiovascular imaging specialists.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

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18 locations

Cardiac Care - Brighton

Clinton Crossings, Building G
2400 South Clinton Avenue, 1st Floor
Rochester, NY 14618

Cardiac Care - Dansville

Noyes Memorial Hospital
111 Cara Barton Street
Dansville, NY 14437

Cardiac Care - Canandaigua - Canandaigua

Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 307
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Cardiac Care - Clifton Springs

Finger Lakes Cardiology
410 Clifton Springs Professional Park
Clifton Springs, NY 14432

Cardiac Care - Irondequoit

999 East Ridge Road, Suite 1000
Rochester, NY 14621

Cardiac Care - Penfield

1835 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, Suite 200
Penfield, NY 14526

Cardiac Care - Henrietta

Red Creek (Calkins Corporate Park)
600 Red Creek Drive, Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14623

Cardiac Care - Seneca Falls

Lifecare Medical Associates
1991 Balsley Road
Seneca Falls, NY 13148

Cardiac Care - Wellsville

Jones Memorial Hospital
191 North Main Street
Wellsville, NY 14895

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Hornell

St. James Medical Office Building
7309 Seneca Road North, Suite 104
Hornell, NY 14843

Cardiac Rehabilitation Center - Brighton

Canal View Office Complex
140 Canal View Boulevard, Suite 104
Rochester, NY 14623

Paul N. Yu Heart Center - Rochester

Ambulatory Care Center at Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Ground Floor
Rochester, NY 14626

Cardiac Care - Brighton

140 Canal View Boulevard, Suite 102
Rochester, NY 14623

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Canandaigua

FF Thompson Hospital
350 Parrish Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Wellsville

Jones Memorial Hospital
191 North Main St​reet
Wellsville, NY 14895

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