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Cardiac Problems in Pregnancy


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Heart problems during pregnancy can come from different areas. Women with congenital heart disease may have problems during pregnancy. Peripartum cardiomyopathy, a rare type of heart failure that occurs during pregnancy or immediately after delivery, weakens the heart muscle and causes the heart to become enlarged, impairing pumping effectiveness. Heart valve disease can become worse with the stress of pregnancy. Preeclampsia, high blood pressure accompanied by protein in the urine, can cause problems for the fetus and can progress to eclampsia and seizures. Heart rhythm disorders may also develop.


Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Wires (electrodes) attached to adhesive pads on your skin measure electrical impulses from your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart and abnormal heart rhythms.

Echocardiogram, Both Transthoracic and Esophageal
In the transthoracic test, a device (transducer) is pressed firmly against your skin and aims an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart, producing moving images of the working of the heart. In the esophageal approach, the transducer is fed down through the esophagus into the stomach to capture the ultrasound images to show how the heart is moving with beats.

Doppler Ultrasound Flow Studies
Doppler uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs to measure and assess the flow of blood.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
This noninvasive diagnostic procedure uses a combination of a large magnet, radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body, to assess blood flow.

Cardiac Catheterization
This procedure uses a catheter threaded through veins into the heart to see inside the heart, measure pressures, and look at blood vessels to help determine therapy options. UHealth is home to the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Cardiac Catheterization Lab, which provides advanced imaging capabilities and pinpoint accuracy for new and complex procedures such as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), mitral valve repair and other minimally invasive procedures, such as valvuloplasty, and other coronary and peripheral vascular interventions.


Blood Pressure Medications
Reducing the blood pressure is important to prevent pre-eclampsia from progressing.

Aggressive Treatment of the Cardiac Problem
Skilled high-risk obstetricians and cardiologist balance therapy for the problem with preventing harm to the fetus. In many cases, and emergency caesarian section to deliver the baby is the best option. High-risk neonatologists are on the team to protect the baby.

Why Choose UHealth?

Expertise in heart-related high-risk pregnancy cases. Your care team, including a high-risk pregnancy gynecologist, cardiologist and neonatologist, has the experience to help ensure your and your baby's good health.

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