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Heart disease doesn’t always develop later in life. Sometimes, you’re born with it. We group heart conditions that are present at birth together and call them congenital heart disease.

Doctors often identify congenital heart disease early in life. But some people don’t learn of their condition until they’re adults. At UW Health, we partner with you to provide lifelong care, no matter when you get your diagnosis. We give special attention to children transitioning from pediatric to adult heart specialists. We’re also a trusted resource to people as they enter different life stages, such as pregnancy.

Our adult congenital heart disease program is nationally accredited — only a select group of centers in the U.S. have achieved this status.


Conditions we treat

There are many forms of congenital heart disease. They range from tiny holes in the heart to heart valves that don’t work as they should.

Specific conditions we treat include: 

  • Aortic aneurysm

  • Aortic arch anomalies

  • Aortopulmonary collateral

  • Aortic valve disease

  • Aortic valve insufficiency

  • Atrioventricular canal defect

  • Arrhythmias

  • Bicuspid aortic valve 

  • Coarctation of the aorta

  • Crisscross heart

  • Cyanotic congenital heart defect

  • DiGeorge syndrome

  • Double-outlet ventricle

  • Double-inlet ventricle

  • Heart failure (cardiomyopathy)

  • Ebstein anomaly

  • Eisenmenger syndrome

  • Fontan anatomy

  • Heterotaxy syndrome

  • Holt-Oram syndrome

  • Hypoplastic left or right heart syndrome

  • Interrupted aortic arch

  • Isomerism

  • Kawasaki disease

  • Loeys-Dietz syndrome

  • Marfan syndrome

  • Mitral valve prolapse

  • Mitral atresia

  • Noonan syndrome

  • Parachute mitral valve

  • Partial or total anomalous pulmonary venous return

  • Patent ductus arteriosus

  • Pulmonary valve insufficiency

  • Pulmonary valve stenosis

  • Peripheral pulmonary stenosis

  • Shone complex

  • Single ventricle

  • Subvalvar aortic stenosis

  • Supravalvar aortic stenosis

  • Tetralogy of Fallot 

  • Truncus arteriosus

  • Transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA, cc-TGA, l-TGA)

  • Tricuspid atresia

  • Turner syndrome

  • Ventricular inversion

  • Unicuspid aortic valve

  • Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

  • Ventricular septal defect 

  • Williams syndrome

  • Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome

Treatments and research

Lifelong care for all your heart health needs

We tailor treatment to your needs. Some conditions cause few or no issues at first. We monitor them carefully because they might get worse over time. Other conditions can be life-threatening right away. Even problems that were addressed when you were a child could need more attention later in life.

Treatment types

We follow your health closely and explain your options clearly. We make sure you get the right help at the right time to best suit your lifestyle.

These procedures allow us to correct heart problems without surgery and are performed in a hybrid lab, which is a world-class first in patient safety and uses low-dose radiation. They involve threading a thin tube called a catheter through a blood vessel to your heart. We then pass tiny specialized tools through the catheter to treat your heart issue.

We use state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging tools, including cardiac MRI, CCTA, CT, echocardiogram and ultrasound, to pinpoint the location of concern and make treatment recommendations.

Devices such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators are helpful for some conditions. These devices help control your heart rate or correct abnormal heart rhythms.

Medication can sometimes help control symptoms. It can help your heart work better or lower your risk for complications.

Surgery allows us to correct heart defects you were born with or conditions that resulted from prior surgeries and interventions on your heart. UW Health surgeons work closely with our adult congenital heart specialists. Our Congenital Heart Program combines the expertise of specialists from multiple teams, backgrounds and disciplines to provide state-of-the-art, innovative care across all ages and for all complex congenital heart conditions.

Procedures we offer

Some of the specific procedures we offer include: 

  • Aortic valve surgical repair or replacement 

  • Aortic valve-sparing surgery 

  • Atrial fibrillation ablation 

  • Atrial septal defect repair 

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy 

  • Cardioversion 

  • Cryoablation 

  • Coarctation of Aorta repair

  • Endografts for aortic disease 

  • Fontan revision

  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators 

  • Laser lead extraction 

  • Left atrial appendage closure (Watchman implant) 

  • Mitral valve repair or replacement

  • Pacemakers 

  • Pulmonary artery reconstruction (surgical or stents)

  • Pulmonary valve repair or replacement

  • Radiofrequency ablation 

  • Ross procedure

  • Subaortic resection surgery

  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm repair (open surgery) 

  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm repair (endovascular graft) 

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement 

  • Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement

  • Tricuspid valve repair or replacement

  • Valve repair or replacement surgery (minimally invasive) 

  • Valvuloplasty 

  • Ventricular septal defect repair

Research and clinical trials 

At UW Health, finding better ways to help our patients is one of our goals. We have a team of hundreds of doctors, researchers and others dedicated to helping patients improve their health. They work together to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease, including congenital heart conditions.

As our patient, you may have access to tests, treatments and therapies that other people may not.

Patient information and resources

These patient education resources might be helpful:

Specialty clinics and services

Resources to support you

Congenital heart disease can have a big impact on your life. We work to address all the challenges it can bring. With helpful clinics and services, we provide the most advanced monitoring and treatments. We also make sure you have the right support. Our goal is to make your condition easier to manage.

Clinics and services

Some types of congenital heart disease run in families. At UW Health, you have access to something patients in most other programs don’t: A cardiac genetic counselor. The counselor can help you determine if other family members should be tested. The sooner a family member is diagnosed, the sooner they can be treated.

We offer inpatient rehabilitation for those who receive heart care in the hospital. We also offer outpatient rehabilitation. These services help you build your strength and endurance and increase your activity if you have heart issues. We also give you tips for heart-healthy living.

Coaching and counseling on nutrition, exercise and mental health play a key role in both your heart health and overall health. Through a variety of approaches, the Wellness Center offers education to help develop lifestyle habits for long-term heart health.

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This program uses special tests to diagnose heart rhythm problems.

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This program connects people living with heart failure to top doctors, the latest treatments, education and support services.

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Through this clinic, we bring together heart and imaging specialists and surgeons. They join forces to offer you the treatments best suited for your type of valve disease.

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Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms. They result from disorders in your heart’s electrical system. Our clinic provides help to patients and families with heart rhythm disorders that are passed on from one generation to the next.

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Individual sitting outside in park
Adult congenital heart disease
Follow-up care is essential

If you were born with heart disease, follow-up care is essential to your health. UW Health's ACHD program is here to help.

Meet our team

Skill, compassion and results set our team apart

Where you get your care matters. You want expertise, doctors who care and the best results. You’ll find all of that at UW Health. Our specialists are known for their experience in all aspects of congenital heart disease care. Some of our surgeons operate on both children and adults, which is rare. We work to meet your needs so that you can live fully and comfortably.


Help is nearby

With clinic locations and services in Madison, Wausau and Green Bay, help is nearby.

Innovative treatments

At UW Health, we provide a full range of services for conditions affecting your heart and circulatory system. Here, you’ll find expert preventive care, advanced diagnostic tests and innovative treatments.

Contact us