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Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD)

Dr. Andrew Leventhal greets a patient.
Dr. Andrew Leventhal greets a patient.

The Kentucky Adult Congenital Heart (KACH) Program at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute provides personalized, adult-focused care and treatment of congenital heart defects. As part of the only such program in Central and Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, our KACH team comprises specially trained cardiologists, CT surgeons, anesthesiologists, imagers, echocardiographers, and electrophysiologists – including one of the only board-certified congenital heart disease specialists in the region.

We have extensive experience in this continually evolving treatment landscape, including heart valve repair, structural heart conditions and interventional cardiology, and we routinely collaborate with other Gill Heart & Vascular Institute experts to choose the right treatment for your unique congenital heart condition. Our team also partners with more than 35 facilities across Kentucky and beyond to provide onsite clinics and tele-echo and tele-ECG services so patients can access the highest quality care in their local communities.

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Meet the Director of our Adult Congenital Heart Program

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  • Congenital heart conditions

    A congenital heart defect can occur in any part of the heart – the walls, arteries, valves, or veins – and alter the way blood flows through the heart or even block it completely.

    Our team at UK specializes in treating adult patients with congenital heart defects including:

    • Heart valve stenosis or regurgitation.
    •  (ASD), patent foramen ovale (PFO), ventricular septal defect (VSD) or patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
    • Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV).
    • Coarctation of the aorta.
    • Subaortic stenosis.
    • Transposition of the great arteries (including congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (ccTGA or L-TGA).
    • Ebstein anomaly.
    • Single ventricle defects.
    • Tetralogy of Fallot.
    • Truncus arteriosus.

    Read about each of these conditions and how we treat them »

  • Adult congenital heart treatment

    Because congenital heart disease patients are living longer than ever before, the treatment landscape is continually evolving. Today, most congenital heart disease can be treated with minimally invasive catheter-based procedures, instead of open-heart surgery. During these procedures, physicians use tiny instruments to make small incisions and repair heart defects from inside the blood vessels. This means patients experience shorter recovery times and much less pain than with open-heart surgery.

    As the only team in Central and Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia to provide these minimally invasive treatment options, the KACH team is highly experienced in many catheter-based procedures:

    • Diagnostic/interventional catheterization for complex congenital heart disease.
    • PFO, ASD, VSD and PDA closures.
    • Stenting of coarctation of the aorta.
    • Balloon dilation of cardiac valves
    • Transcatheter replacement of the pulmonary valve (and other cardiac valves).
    • Percutaneous management of vascular malformations.

    Continue reading about these treatment options »

  • Clinical trials

    In addition to our leading-edge treatment offerings, we provide access to clinical trials studying new and innovative approaches to managing various congenital heart issues. This means that patients in the KACH program at UK can experience potentially life-saving treatments not available at other institutions. For more information on current clinical trials, talk with your UK HealthCare team or visit our Clinical Trials at Gill webpage.

  • Patient stories

    Congenital heart disease doesn't sideline hardworking dad

    In late 2017, Justin Clark’s fiancee laid her head on his chest and told him something didn’t sound right. This wasn't a surprise to the 29-year-old Ashland resident. He’d been born with an aortic valve that failed to open. At the time, doctors had given him a nine percent chance of survival. Read Justin's story »

    Experimental heart valve turns life around for Manchester woman

    t’s been a year since Priscilla Riley’s life changed forever. Riley, now 71, had been plagued with heart problems for most of her life. As a small child growing up in Eastern Kentucky, she’d had a problem with her aortic valve, the valve that connects the heart to the rest of the body. Read Priscilla's story »

    Team of experts at UK returns heart patient to his first love: restoring vintage cars

    By his 13th birthday, Jason Conn had undergone three open-heart surgeries to repair his deformed bicuspid valve. While he was cleared to enjoy typical childhood activities like skateboarding and bike riding, he was not allowed to play organized sports. Read Jason's story »

    Gill gives Lexington woman, 23, new heart and new life

    Growing up, Adrianne Rogers was an active athlete, pursuing interests in basketball, football, skateboarding and motocross racing. She was skilled enough to play up on a varsity softball team as a middle-schooler. But at age 13, she began to experience an inexplicable decline in performance and endurance. Read Adrianne's story »