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Young patients with congenital heart disease reaching adulthood face mandatory transition to adult cardiology. Their new cardiologist needs to assess the chances of major future events such as surgery. Using a large national registry, we assessed if patient characteristics at the age of 18 years could predict the chance of congenital heart surgery in adulthood.Of 10,300 patients from the CONCOR national registry, we used general patient characteristics at age 18 years, underlying congenital heart defect, history of complications, and interventions in childhood as potential predictors of congenital heart surgery occurring from age 18 years up to age 40 and 60 years. Cox regression was used to calculate hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Analyses were performed separately for all congenital heart surgery and for valvular surgery alone.Altogether 2427 patients underwent congenital heart surgery after age 18 years, 1389 of whom underwent valvular surgery. Underlying heart defect, male sex, multiple defects, childhood endocarditis, supraventricular arrhythmia, aortic complications and paediatric cardiovascular surgery, independently predicted adult congenital heart surgery. The mean chance of congenital heart surgery was 22% up to age 40 and 43% up to age 60 years; individual chances spanned from 9–68% up to age 40 and from 19–93% up to age 60 years.At the time of transition from paediatric to adult cardiology, an easily obtainable set of characteristics of patients with congenital heart disease can meaningfully inform cardiologists about the patient's individual chance of surgery in adulthood. Our findings warrant validation in other cohorts.