Conditions & Rx
Dr Shankar Sridharan is a childrens heart doctor dealing with congenital heart disease. He is very aware that a rapid and accurate diagnosis together with a kind empathic approach best serves the child and family.
Kind, smart care
Many children are often referred for assessment following the suspicion of cardiac disease but are subsequently found to be healthy.
Many heart problems in a baby or child may be managed in the clinic without the need for interventional procedures or child heart surgery.
If these are required, I am fortunate to work with an excellent team as part of my london paediatric cardiology practice at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The care plan created will provide direct access to the best paediatric interventional and cardiothoracic surgical consultants in the country.
Is it always awful news?
Confirming that a child has a heart problem is upsetting for any parent. It is important to understand that there is a huge variation in the severity, impact and management of lesions.
A 'hole in the heart' may be a tiny defect that whilst producing an extra heart sound (or heart murmur), has no clinical impact upon the child’s life, long-term health or future prospects.
Other, larger holes may require closer supervision in the clinic alone, whereas very big defects may cause the baby or child to struggle with feeds and require child heart surgery for repair.
An important aspect of the work of a skilled paediatric cardiologist (baby heart doctor) is to stratify the risks associated with each lesion and individualise patient care. If an operation is necessary, we will time the procedure to minimise the assocaited surgical risks. Sometimes, waiting a few months for the child to grow and gain a little weight will make operting easier
What treatment is available?
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition. Some children, such as those with an innocent murmur or mild valve stenosis will not require any treatment, while others may need medicines or interventional procedures involving cardiac catheterisation or child heart surgery.
If surgery is needed, I work with the best chiders heart surgeons and interventionists in the country. Surgery will only be considered after Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) review - amplifying experience and wisdom
What happens next?
All children with congenital heart disease (even when corrected) will need regular check-ups, usually continuing into adulthood. These will usually involve repeat Echo and ECG scans and sometimes cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
The aim of these check-ups is to monitor your child’s heart function so that good health is maintained and future heart issues are diagnosed and treated quickly.