In May 1959, Drs. John Evans and John Keith began a pioneering clinic at the Toronto General Hospital for adults with congenital heart disease.
The Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults (TCCCA), located at Toronto General Hospital in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, had more than 2500 patient visits in the year 2000, and has seen 6000 patients since 1982. Whether they come for diagnosis, medical treatment, a surgical operation or professional counselling, the patients and their families, can be assured of excellent care by professionals dedicated to the well-being of adults with congenital heart problems.
In 1995, the Adult Congenital Heart Council (ACHC) was formed in Toronto by a group of patients and family members. Its goal is to advance the care of patients through educational programs and fund-raising to support needed projects. The ACHC is affiliated with the CACH Network and the TCCCA. Its founding president is Timothy P. Caley.
The aim of the Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults is to promote, maintain and pursue excellence in the care of adults with congenital heart disease, to improve treatment through research, and to train committed individual specialists who will contribute to their care.
Over the years, as more and more children with congenital heart disease have grown into young men and women, we have developed strong ties with our world-famous cardiovascular colleagues at the Hospital for Sick Children. We are also an integral part of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, the Heart & Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research and we collaborate with programs at universities across Canada and around the world.
In 1991, the Toronto Centre joined 14 other regional centres from St. John's to Vancouver to form the Canadian Adult Congenital Heart (CACH) Network. The combined experiences of the CACH Network centres offers unprecedented opportunities for research and to further improve patient care. Thanks to CACH, congenital heart disease patients and their families will be able to move to different parts of Canada, assured of access to expert care and treatment at their new location.
Every advance in our knowledge of congenital heart disease raises more questions about both causes and treatment options. The need for further research to gain new insights is constant. It is partnerships like this that will enable the Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults to play a leadership role in global research in congenital heart disease.
Patients usually have congenital heart disease but some have cardiovascular conditions that can be inherited, such as Marfan syndrome and muscular dystrophy. The Toronto Centre works with other specialist teams at Toronto General Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital to provide access when needed for heart, lung, or heart-lung transplant operations, as well as to expert management of heart failure.
We offer higher-risk patients specialised care during pregnancy and childbirth. Our team in the pregnancy and heart disease clinic are world-renowned as leaders in the care of pregnant women with heart problems. We pay specific attention to the emotional, psychological and behavioural needs of our patients. We design therapy and counselling programs to help them lead satisfying and productive lives.
Clinics are held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. Any tests that are needed are usually performed on the same day. We attempt to coordinate your visit with other appointments, such as pacemaker, arrhythmia, special pregnancy or other clinics.
Cardiology trainees may be involved in your care unless you prefer to deal only with the staff cardiologists. Every patient has that option. Our fellows are ACHD specialists taking advanced training prior to their beginning to care for adults with congenital heart disease across Canada and around the world. Many are already distinguished in their own right.
Patient care does not have to be handled exclusively by the Congenital Cardiac Centre. You may wish to have a cardiologist in your local area as well. Provided patients give consent, reports are sent to multidisciplinary team members currently involved in their care, as well as to physicians or surgeons at the Hospital for Sick Children who cared for them in the past. Patients may also ask to receive these reports.