Corrigan Minehan Heart Center
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Explore the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Treating Congenital Heart Disease
Patients and their families are guided through every aspect of management, from the initial encounter and review of prior history, through diagnostic and interventional procedures, while emphasizing continuity of care and long-term follow up. Our physicians are focused exclusively on treating congenital heart disease in adults and work with specialists from multiple clinical disciplines to provide care from many different perspectives, including:
- Cardiac genetics
- Cardiac imaging
- Cardiac and thoracic surgery
- Heart failure and transplantation
- Interventional cardiology
- Obstetrics and gynecology
- Pulmonary care
Our specialists care for adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease and value open and ongoing communication with referring pediatricians, internists and primary cardiologists. We also emphasize patient education and self-advocacy to help patients transition from pediatric, through adolescent to adult care.
We offer multidisciplinary visits with same day testing in Boston, state-of-the-art interventions, health and wellness clinics in Waltham, and telemedicine and digital health services throughout the Northeast and internationally. The program has an active interest in transitioning adolescents and young adults to adult cardiac care and in cardiovascular disease and pregnancy.
Conditions We Treat
Clinicians at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program provide personalized, lifelong care for adolescent and adult patients with the entire spectrum of congenital heart disease, including, but not limited to:
- Aortic valve stenosis
- Atrial septal defect
- Bicuspid aortic valve
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Complex congenital heart disease
- Congenital coronary anomalies
- Ebstein’s Anomaly
- Eisenmenger Syndrome
- Fontan circulation
- Marfan Syndrome
- Patent ductus arteriosus
- Pulmonic stenosis
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Ventricular septal defect
We work with patients who are:
- Women of childbearing age with an interest in family planning
- Individuals with CHD interested in athletic involvement, either professional or individual
- Adolescents and young adults seeking to transition to comprehensive multidisciplinary adult care
- International patients with ACHD seeking multidisciplinary care
- ACHD patients requiring multi-organ system care (hepatic, renal, pulmonary disease, adult co-management)
- ACHD patients requiring/considering heart, heart-lung, or heart-liver transplant evaluation
- Patients living at a distance or interested in establishing tele-visits in addition to in-person visits to reduce travel burden
Diagnosing Congenital Heart Disease
To diagnose congenital heart disease, it is important to have a clear image of a patient’s anatomy. The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program includes full-time, board-certified cardiac imaging specialists who are specially trained to detect heart defects and whose practice focuses specifically on congenital heart disease.
Depending on the patient, we may use one or more of these diagnostic techniques to examine the heart’s anatomy and function:
- Cardiac MRI
- Cardiac CT
- Echocardiography, including transesophageal, transthoracic and 3D
- CT guidance during electrophysiologic procedures
- Diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization
Treating Congenital Heart Disease
Both outpatient and inpatient care are closely supervised by the same dedicated physicians in the personalized manner that has been the tradition and style of excellence that characterizes Mass General.
Helping Patients Live Full, Healthy Lives
Our goal is to repair and manage congenital heart conditions so that patients live full, healthy lives. Our specialists take a holistic approach to care and are available to:
- Answer your questions: Patients with congenital heart disease often have questions relating to work, education, sports participation, marriage, pregnancy, childrearing, and whether their condition affects lifestyle decisions
- Guide patients through lifestyle changes: Preventive care is central to the treatment process. We often guide patients through dietary changes and weight management, and may refer them to cardiac rehabilitation specialists to help manage their condition
- Support young patients: Teens and young adults with congenital heart disease receive ongoing support that helps them shift from pediatric to adult-based health care. Adolescents and young adults also receive peer support from patients who have similar conditions.
Minimally Invasive Treatments
For some patients, we use an interventional transcatheter approach to offer minimally invasive procedures that result in small incisions in the skin, rather than open heart surgery. Our interventional cardiologists treat congenital heart conditions, including but not limited to septal defects, coarctation of aorta, pulmonary branch stenoses and perform pulmonic vein replacement.
Our dedicated surgical team specializes in adult congenital heart surgical procedures, including primary operations and reoperations. We are experienced in both simple and complex congenital heart surgeries, including:
- Fontan operation and revision
- Surgical closure of atrial septal defect
- Surgical repair of coartation of the aorta
- Surgical repair of Ebstein’s anomaly
- Pulmonary valve replacement
- Surgical repair of coronary artery anomalies
- Tetralogy of Fallot repair or reoperation
- Valve sparing aortic root surgery
- Conduit revision
- Congenital valve repair or replacement (tricuspid, mitral, aortic)
We strive to see patients in a timely fashion. Our dedicated support personnel are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm to take relevant information about your condition and symptoms and make a timely appointment with the most appropriate specialist.
To request an appointment, call 617-726-8510 or complete our online appointment form
Educational Offerings for Medical Professionals
- Annual ACHD CME course for the General Adult or Pediatric Cardiology Practitioner
- ACHD Visiting professorships
- ACHD Fellows lecture series at academic institutions to fulfill COCATS requirements
- ACHD rotation opportunities at MGH for interested fellows
- Local ACHD clinics at our educational partner institutions for longitudinal care/fellow education
Chris Learn, MD
Sherrin Gallagher, NP
ACHD Nurse Practitioner
Lauren McLaughlin, RN
ACHD Program nurse
Mass General is dedicated to ensuring that people understand their health care choices and have the necessary information to make decisions affecting their health and wellbeing. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.
What to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center.
Support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.
Jack's Story: Adult Congenital Heart Disease
At age 16, Jack Cadigan was a healthy, athletic high school student. He volunteered at a medical clinic in Haiti where they discovered he had an issue with his heart. He came to Mass General where Dr. Ami Bhatt diagnosed him with an atrial septal defect, which was repaired through surgery.
Preparing for College
When ACHD patients leave for college, there can be gaps in care. To ensure that you can maintain your health, it is important to make an appointment to see your cardiologist at least six months before you leave for college to be sure all necessary tests have been performed (electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, etc.).Learn more