Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Pediatric Cardiologist vs. Adult Cardiologist
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Pediatric Cardiologist vs. Adult Cardiologist

My 15 year old daughter had a pacemaker put in on 7/15/13. Due to severe staph infection it was removed on 8/15/13. She continues on IV antibiotics here at home. Her current pediatric cardiologist has made the decision to leave a "vegetation" on her upper right heart valve. Her blood cultures have remained negative for over a week now. I feel as though since the removal of the pacemaker, he seems to not want much to do with her. SO, I am looking to get a second opinion. However, it seems all of the local pediatric cardiologist are in the same group as her current cardiologist. Now I am looking to see if she can be seen by an adult cardiologist, but not sure if an adult cardiologist will see her or not.
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Dear Curious Mom,

So, what question can I try to help you with?
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Can she be taken care of by an Adult Cardiologist rather than a Pediatric Cardiologist? What is the difference between Adult care verses a child's care if they have the same illness?
My daughter suffers from bradycardia and severe vasovagal syncope, to the point during episodes her heart is stopping (they realized this during the tilt table test). She has low blood pressure issues as well (they plan to help that with medications). NOW, we have this issue with the vegetation becoming an issue on the upper heart valve (where it is attached).

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773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Curious Mom,

A pediatric cardiologist specializes in taking care of children and adolescents with congenital and acquired cardiac disease.  Your daughter's condition specifically is something that can be seen in adult and pediatric patients, although therapy can often vary between the two groups.  Adult cardiologists often think about the short haul, as many of their patients are going to live 15 to 30 years more, while pediatric cardiologists try to think about the long term plan for a patient living 60 or more years.  Adult cardiologists tend to be a bit more aggressive, as well, for better or worse.  As I don't know any of the personnel in this group, and you are not sure which way to go, I definitely would recommend a second opinion, at minimum, even if it means a bit of travel if you are uncomfortable with the initial group.
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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