Also known as ‘congenital malformations’, congenital defects are simply birth defects that may adversely affect overall health, physical, as well as, mental development of children. These defects may even cause death of babies at an early age. Such defects can be easily identified during prenatal period, at the time of birth of babies or in their adulthood. Some of the congenital defects are caused due to faulty genes. Whereas, some congenital abnormalities result due to improper lifestyle choices, consumption of certain chemicals, and other health problems during pregnancy. Therefore, women must stay careful before and during their phase of pregnancy to minimize the chances of any mishappening or unfortunate event.
Major Types of Congenital Defects
The following list describes some major types of congenital defects that are known to cause severe disability in children if not treated on time.
- Aortic Valve Stenosis – Aortic valve stenosis (AVS) is a heart defect that appears when aortic valve fails to function properly. It may not close or open at required instant of time and may cause pressure on heart by leaking blood back to heart. Aortic valve stenosis may form during first eight weeks of pregnancy period and cause life-threatening complications in infants and children. However, precise reason behind its occurrence is not clear yet. Children with an underlying aortic valve stenosis condition are likely to experience problems like dizziness, episodes of chest pain, shortness of breath, unusual heartbeat pattern, and tiredness after playing sports or performing any strenuous activity. Main treatment options for aortic valve stenosis in children involve balloon dilation, valvotomy, Ross procedure, and aortic valve replacement surgery. Parents must reach out for medical assistance at the earliest on observing any kind of abnormality in their children.
- Atrial Septal Defects – Atrial septal defects (ASD) in children develops when the wall that is responsible for the separation of upper chambers of heart known as ‘septum’ has a hole. Such hole may create tremendous pressure on heart and eventually lungs of children. There is a possibility that children with a tiny hole may not experience any symptoms. However, children with a large hole may encounter warning signals such as trouble breathing, severe respiratory infections, palpitations or abnormal heartbeats. Medical professionals blame faulty genes for the development of atrial septal defects in babies. Atrial septal defects can be easily treated with an open heart surgery and cardiac catheterization procedure.
- Ventricular Septal Defects – Ventricular septal defects (VSD) are one of the most common heart defects. Such defects arise when there is presence of a hole in the wall that separates lower chambers of heart in respective babies. Six to eight weeks old infants with an underlying ventricular septal defect may have to face problems such as sweating, rapid or heavy breathing, disinterest in feeding, and poor weight gain during growth years. Family history of such heart defects could be the possible reason for development of abnormality in heart of children. Mild cases of ventricular septal defects can be treated with medications. Whereas, severe cases need surgical treatments like an open heart procedure, cardiac catheterization, or a hybrid procedure which involves a combination of both of these treatments.
- Coarctation of the Aorta – Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is a most common birth abnormality that is caused when main artery called as ‘aorta’ in children fails to deliver blood from their heart to other body organs due to condition of narrowing. Children experiencing symptoms such as cold feet, fainting or dizziness, leg cramps while performing any physical activity, nosebleed, pounding headache condition, and shortness of breath are likely suffering from an underlying coarctation of the aorta Such children should be treated in a prompt manner in order to avoid serious complications. Major treatment options for coarctation of the aorta involve balloon angioplasty and stenting procedure, cardiac catheterization, and bypass graft repair surgery. Children may need to consume certain medications in order to avoid postoperative complications.
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus – Ductus arteriosus is an opening found in heart of babies before their birth. This opening is supposed to get closed after their birth. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a condition that most likely occurs when ductus arteriosus in children remain open even after their birth. It may weaken their normal heart muscle and cause immense pressure if remain untreated. Babies with a large patent ductus arteriosus condition may experience breathlessness, sweating while eating something or crying, easily getting tired without any apparent reason. Faulty genes and environmental factors are known to give rise to such problems in children. In mild cases, patent ductus arteriosus can be treated by medical monitoring and intake of medications. However, some children with severe problem may require an open-heart surgery or catheter procedures in order to stay healthy.
- Tetralogy of Fallot – Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is one of the rarely occurring heart problems but it is most common types of cyanotic congenital heart defects. This condition arises when children are affected by four heart conditions at the same instant namely – ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, right ventricular hypertrophy, and overriding aorta condition. These problems result in lack of oxygen in blood of respective babies. This is why babies which are born with such heart defects are referred to as ‘blue babies’ in clinical terms. Tetralogy of Fallot can be easily identified with the help of signs such as blue-tinted skin, rapid breathing during feeding, loss of consciousness, clubbing of fingers, and poor weight gain. Surgical repair can be performed to provide relief to babies struggling with tetralogy of Fallot Doctors may not opt for full repair as babies are not strong enough to handle pain and complications that may arise after surgery. They may perform complete repair procedure once the babies become strong in terms of overall health.
- Chiari Malformation – Chiari malformation is a medical issue that comes into existence when a portion of baby’s brain which is responsible for managing their coordination and movements shifts downward into the area or space in their spinal cord. Most common symptoms of Chiari malformation in infants and young children involves headaches, stiffness around neck, poor feeding, decreased strength in limbs, rapid eye movements, weak crying. Medical practitioners reveal that improper brain development while the child is in mother’s womb could give rise to the condition of Chiari malformation. Respective neurosurgeons may advise decompression surgery or an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) procedure in order to relieve pressure from brain of baby suffering from Chiari malformation.
- Down Syndrome – Also known as ‘trisomy 21’ condition, Down syndrome is a genetic defect that results when children are born with extra chromosomes. It negatively impacts their overall development in terms of physical, physiological and mental growth as well. Children suffering from Down syndrome can be identified by some common features like small head, flattened face, upward slanting eyelids, poor muscle tone, and protruding tongue. There is no medication or surgical procedure that can treat Down syndrome. However, occupational therapy, physical therapy, language therapy and clinical counseling sessions may prove highly effective in managing the symptoms of Down syndrome.
- Spina Bifida – Spina bifida is a neural defect that emerges due to poor development of baby’s spine in mother’s womb or during pregnancy phase. Many children may not encounter any serious symptoms. However, some children struggling with a serious form of spina bifida may have a birthmark or a small dimple, abnormal bunch of hair, and loss of partial sensation or complete sensation in legs. Folic acid deficiency in mothers during pregnancy and family history of neural defects are major reasons responsible for development of spina bifida in babies. Neurosurgeons may recommend a surgical procedure for closing the spinal opening in a smooth manner. In addition to this, they may suggest use of assistive devices and therapies like occupational therapy and physical therapy in order children perform their basic tasks independently.
- Clubfoot – Medically referred to as ‘talipes equinovarus’, clubfoot is an abnormality that causes abnormal twisting or positioning of feet in an infant. Family history of this disease can is mainly responsible for occurrence of clubfoot in newborn babies. Leg twisted in a downward position and limb length discrepancy is most prominent signs of clubfoot. It can be treated by Ponseti technique that involves use of a cast for straightening limbs of babies in an appropriate position. Respective orthopedic surgeons may also perform a tendon lengthening surgery in order to address the limb discrepancy issue in children.
- Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate – Cleft lip and cleft palate is a type of facial malformation that gives rise to an unwanted opening in lip area or upper line of mouth which is known as a ‘palate’. It occurs during pregnancy phase due to improper development of lip and mouth. Faulty genes and some kind of deficiency in mother may lead to cleft lip and cleft palate A split around lips or mouth are the major indications of cleft lip and cleft palate condition. Doctors may advise a cleft lip and cleft palate correction surgery for enhancing the appearance as well as functioning. Apart from this, doctors may refer children to clinical counselors and language pathologists for coping up with any difficulty during developmental years.
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Congenital Defects in African Countries
African countries such as Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria and many more are renowned for their breath-taking beautiful places, wildlife, and cultural heritage. However, when it comes to health management, the scenario is quite the opposite. Despite other factors, these African countries fail in terms of providing best medical care to patients especially, children. World Health Organization (WHO) has admitted that congenital defects or abnormalities are one of the main causes of disability among children in African countries. It has become the reason for premature deaths in Africa. To be honest, majority of African countries do not even have basic medical provisions. Also, medical professionals in Africa are also not so adept to handle complicated cases of congenital problems. Their success record of treating such health issues is also low. This is why medical tourism from Africa to countries like India can prove highly beneficial for availing best quality treatments at extremely reasonable rates. Congenital defect treatment cost in India is within reach of a common person. Furthermore, Indian hospitals are well-equipped with high-end medical provisions and well-qualified doctors that can significantly help in saving lives of children who fall victim to death due to poor healthcare system of Africa.
Avail Affordable Congenital Defect Treatments in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism is a reputed healthcare consulting firms that provide a wide range of clinical surgeries and treatments including congenital defect treatments in India. Main objective of Travcure is to cater best services to African patients seeking high-quality provisions at cost-effective rates. Congenital defect treatment cost in African countries could be high if patients wants high-quality treatments. Whereas, finest congenital defect treatment cost in India is absolutely affordable. Healthcare consultants at Travcure leave no stone unturned in providing best solutions at reasonable congenital defect treatment cost. Travcure provides free online medical consultation to African patients and assists them in obtaining their medical visas as well. They stay in contact with each and every African patient throughout their congenital defect treatments in India and also during their post-surgical time even when they go back to Africa. Therefore, if you are someone from Africa seeking affordable congenital defect treatments in India, you may contact Travcure. All you need to do is just fill up a basic inquiry form by giving required details. You may also take benefit of free call back facility offered by Travcure. Healthcare consultants at Travcure will positively contact you within 48 hours and explain further process. So, send your inquiry now for ensuring a better quality of life.