February 20, 2022

A Team Approach in Caring for Children and Adults born with Congenital Heart Disease

With the many advancements in heart care, children born with congenital heart disease are now living full lives as adults. It was once thought that their lifespan would be shortened because of the varying degrees of heart disease, but that no longer is the case as many children are now reaching adulthood. With that being said, the need for transitional cardiology care from pediatric to adult is now more important than ever.

Beautiful young mom is holding her cute baby while doctor is listening to baby’s lungs
“One of the reasons I chose the field of pediatric cardiology is because of the lifelong bond you create with your pediatric patients,” said Claire Cigarroa, M.D., Pediatric Cardiologist. “These patients are living longer lives now, and when reaching adult status, they will continue needing care and monitoring.”

For this reason, the Cigarroa Clinic is happy to bring congenital heart disease care specifically for adults to Laredo with the opening of their Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, under the direction of Dr. Claire Cigarroa. The care provided at the clinic specifically addressing the unique medical needs of adults who still require specialized care to treat the heart problem(s) they were born with.

“These problems can be minor, such as a small hole in the heart, or major with missing heart chambers and valves,” explained Dr Cigarroa.

Although surgeries often allow patients to feel normal and lead fulfilling lives, early heart surgery does put adults at increased lifetime risk of heart valve problems, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart muscle dysfunction.

“As heart specialists, we must continue monitoring these patients’ needs to make sure they do not suffer any relapses that could come later in life,” said Dr Cigarroa. “Being born with Congenital Heart Disease was not their doing, but we can certainly provide them with the care they deserve so they can live and enjoy their lives to the fullest as adults.”

Pediatric cardiologists are knowledgeable about congenital heart disease surgeries and potential issues that arise later in life. Additionally, many adults risk facing cardiac problems from heart disease acquired throughout lifestyle and diet that adult cardiologists best treat.

“The Cigarroa Clinic is now the only cardiology practice in Laredo with trained medical cardiologists on staff who can provide care and treatment for both adult and pediatric patients,” said Dr. Cigarroa. “As a team, we can now provide comprehensive evaluations and treat adult patients through assessments that will allow us to provide appropriate medications and treatments to prolong and improve the quality of life for those living with congenital heart disease as adults.”

For more information on Congenital Heart Disease, call the Cigarroa Clinic at (956) 725-1228 for an appointment with Dr. Claire Cigarroa. You can also follow the Cigarroa Clinic on FB and Instagram or visit their website at The American Heart Association also is a great resource on heart health. You can visit their website at As always, the minute you feel you may be experiencing a heart attack, call 911 or head to your nearest Emergency Room.