"It is very important to detect the problem early so that it doesn't become a major issue in the future. The defect can be diagnosed prenatally in an ultrasound and necessary steps can be taken thereafter. Else it must be identified soon after birth of the child so that the best treatment can be given," said Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director of Medanta - The Medicity.
Doctors from various hospitals in the city believe that about 10% to 15% of all cardiac cases are related to children. "The number of cases reported has risen. This is a good sign, as timely intervention can stop it from becoming a bigger problem," said Dr Manvinder Singh, senior consultant paediatric cardiologist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute. He added that an average of 30 children are operated on at Fortis every month.
Congenital heart disease can often be genetic. But Dr Anil Bansal of Columbia Asia Hospital said, "Maternal health, obesity, and consumption of drugs and alcohol need to be controlled. The risk also increases if a woman conceives after the age of 35."
Cardiologists added that medical tourism and the fact that India is a cheaper destination have led to more children from foreign countries coming here for treatment.