Congenital Heart Disease in Adolescents and Adults
The Integrated Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Unit (UCCAA) at Vall d'Hebron - Sant Pau is a part of the Cardiology Department, and its mission is to provide multidisciplinary care for adolescent and adult patients living with a congenital heart disease, as well as teaching and carrying out research in this field.
The Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Unit (UCCAA) was set up at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital more than 40 years ago, and we have been providing paediatric care for congenital heart diseases ever since. This Unit is the result of a collaboration agreement between our Hospital and the University Hospital of Santa Creu i Sant Pau, to bring together the effort, resources and experience of these two leading hospitals in the treatment of this disease.
Outpatient visits to the UCCAA Unit take place in the Outpatient Clinic of the Maternity and Children's Hospital, next to the Paediatric Cardiology Department, meaning we can group outpatient care for cardiology of congenital heart disease in a single area. This means that we can share work stations, databases and tools (the ECO 3D) and it makes the transfer and continuity of treatment simple, from paediatric age to adulthood, for what is a congenital and life-threatening disease.
Patients who require admission are directed to the General Hospital, and stay in the cardiology ward. Depending on their clinical circumstances, some of these adult patients with congenital heart disease must be admitted onto special wards:
- Patients in critical condition: Coronary and Intensive Cardiological Care Unit of the Cardiology Department.
- Patients just out of operations: Cardiology Department Postoperative Cardiac Surgery Unit.
- Pregnant patients with congenital heart disease: the Obstetrics, Foetal Medicine and Anaesthesia Departments have created a Working Unit for High-Risk Pregnancies for women with congenital heart disease. Following an established protocol, the checks carried out by the Obstetrics Unit are set to match any necessary cardiac checks to monitor the well-being of mother and foetus during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, with a care protocol that accounts for both the heart disease and the clinical circumstances. We also provide care for cases of postpartum with cardiological risk.
In parallel with these services, there is also a clinic for reproductive counselling for women with congenital heart disease. This clinic is a part of the Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Unit (UCCAA), carried out jointly with the Gynaecology Department at the Outpatient Clinic of the Maternity and Children's Hospital. There, a cardiologist and a gynaecologist/angiologist, experts in congenital heart disease, work together to analyse the patient depending on their individual clinical and heart disease condition and explore their chances of conceiving children. Their mission is to inform, evaluate and offer sexual health planning, discussing the reproductive possibilities of the patients living with congenital heart disease.
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