Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Ask your doctor

The following questions can help you talk to your doctor about treating and managing your adult congenital heart disease (CHD). Print or write down these questions and take them to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your doctor’s responses when you get home.

Doctor pointing

Questions for your doctor

Bring a list of questions to ask your doctor about adult congenital heart disease (CHD). 

Questions about physical activity

  • What types of physical activities do you recommend for me?
  • Do I have any physical activity restrictions?
  • For how long should I exercise, and at what intensity?
  • Are there warning signs I should look for when engaging in physical activity?
  • When should we evaluate if a new activity or an increase in intensity level is safe for me?
  • Are there any tests or treatments that should be performed before I engage in physical activity?

Questions about employment

  • What kinds of jobs can I have? Are there jobs I should avoid?
  • Will any of my medications affect my job performance?
  • Are there other professionals who may help me, such as health insurance/financial counselors, social workers, mental health counselors, and career counselors?

Questions about supporting a healthy, happy lifestyle

  • Who can I turn to for support (hospital staff, support groups, etc.)?
  • Are there lifestyle changes I should make to support my heart health or my child?
  • What are the best ways that I can improve my child’s or my current quality of life?

Questions about pregnancy

  • If I have CHD, is pregnancy safe for me?
  • If I have CHD, are my children more likely to also have CHD?
  • If pregnancy is not advised for me, what are my contraception options?
  • Are some forms of contraception safer for me than others?

Questions about end-of-life issues

  • Who should make medical decisions for me if I cannot do so?
  • What paperwork must I complete to express my wishes about end-of-life care legally?
  • Are the wishes expressed in my living will clear, and do you feel comfortable implementing them?
  • What is the process for having you create a do not resuscitate (DNR) order?