The management of adults with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) is one of the most challenging and also one of the fastest growing areas in contemporary cardiology. The growth of this field has been accelerated by the fact that the first generation of children to undergo open heart surgery has now reached adulthood and they are developing disease syndromes that previously were not conceivable. Management of these patients is highly specialized and at the University of Colorado Hospital (in partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado) we have the necessary expertise. This includes clinical specialists trained in both adult and pediatric cardiology, pediatric heart surgeons who can navigate this complex physiology (often on multiple occasions in the same patient) and electrophysiologists with similarly advanced training in the complex anatomy. There are several physicians both at Children's Hospital Colorado and UCHealth with advanced training in ACHD as well as a complete complement of support personnel who are attuned to the special needs of this patient group. In addition to the management of adult patients, we are also committed to helping with the transition of younger individuals from a pediatric setting to an adult hospital.
Since the field of ACHD is relatively young, we are very involved with the training of future sub-sub-specialists and in the development of management guidelines that can shape the field going forward. To this end, we have taken the lead in the development of a multi-institutional consortium that can pool patient experience in order to define both the natural history of ACHD and also to develop appropriate therapeutic interventions.
In recognition of its expertise in serving adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), structural heart conditions present at birth, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital has earned accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), a nationwide organization focused on connecting patients, family members, and healthcare providers to form a community of support and a network of experts with knowledge of CHD.
ACHA is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and extending the lives of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). ACHA serves and supports the more than one million adults with CHD, their families and the medical community. For more information about ACHA, contact 888-921-ACHA or visit achaheart.org.