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Fetal Heart & Cardiology Program

Fetal Heart Care Program

A compassionate team with deep experience detecting, diagnosing and caring for families with all types of fetal heart conditions

Detecting heart conditions early can help doctors plan your baby’s care and delivery and give them the best chance at a healthy, happy life. At Pediatric Heart Specialists (PHS), we know nothing is more important than your child. That’s why we’re available anytime you need us, to provide the answers and care you and your baby need.

Fetal heart conditions we treat

We have extensive experience with all forms of complex congenital heart disease, including:

  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Pulmonary valve atresia
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Atrioventricular canal defect
  • Ventricular septal defect
  • Ebstein’s anomaly of the tricuspid valve
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Many other forms of heart disease

We are also experts in fetal heart rhythm disorders, such as:

  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
  • Congenital complete atrioventricular block

Learn more about congenital heart defects in babies

Fetal echocardiogram experts

A fetal echocardiogram (or “echo”) is a safe, noninvasive test of your unborn baby’s heart. This advanced imaging shows us how your baby’s heart is developing and helps us determine if — and when — medical intervention is necessary.

Our team sees some of the highest numbers of patients in Texas. Our highly trained ultrasound sonographers, who specialize in fetal echocardiography, perform 400 to 600 fetal echocardiogram exams every year. That gives us a high level of expertise that you can count on.

Fetal echocardiograms are performed when:

  • Babies have a high risk of developing certain cardiac conditions or abnormalities due to family history or certain medical conditions in the mother
  • A routine pregnancy ultrasound detects an abnormal heart rhythm
  • Your health care provider has a concern and wants an expert evaluation

We perform fetal echocardiography after 18 weeks gestation or occasionally sooner. We’re equipped to perform fetal echocardiograms in all PHS locations across North and East Texas. Find out more about our fetal echocardiography.

Fetal cardiac diagnosis and management

If fetal echocardiography reveals a heart condition in your unborn child, we’re here for you. You will receive:

  • Personalized care throughout your pregnancy: We’ll see you about once a month to monitor your baby’s health. For electrical disturbances of the baby’s heart, we may see you as often as once a week.
  • Family education, support and resources: Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll work closely with our nurse who is dedicated to families with fetal heart conditions. This nurse helps arrange appointments and provides resources to guide your way to a safe birth.
  • Comprehensive treatment options: We explain your options and prescribe medications, if needed. In rare cases where the baby needs a treatment or procedure in the womb, we connect you to our network of resources across the nation to get the care you need.
  • Customized birthing plan at the hospital of your choice: As part of a prenatal diagnosis of a fetal heart condition, we help you and your care team plan for your baby’s needs. You can choose among several area hospitals to deliver your baby. In most cases, your baby can stay with you in the hospital for several hours or a day or two, so your family can enjoy the special transition time after birth.
  • Access to the Fetal Heart Program at Children’s Health for advanced pediatric cardiac care before, during and after birth: Several excellent local hospitals can transport your baby to Children’s Health℠ as needed. However, only a small percentage of babies with fetal heart conditions need immediate transport for heart care. Other babies can see specialists for surgery or other procedures at the right time for your baby and your family.

Experts in fetal and children’s heart care

Our expert pediatric cardiologists and fetal cardiologists have special training to detect, diagnose and care for all types of fetal heart conditions. With decades of experience, you have access to advanced techniques. Your baby and your family receive personalized, comprehensive care every step of the way.

Equally important, we take the time to present everything you need to know in an understandable way. We provide a realistic picture of what lies ahead, from a compassionate and empathetic team that cares about you and your child.

Your child’s cardiology partners for life

After a diagnosis of a fetal heart condition, we form a bond with your family as we plan for your child’s birth. Often, that bond lasts a lifetime.

Beyond caring for your baby in the womb, we offer treatment for every type of heart condition that can affect a child. We treat children, adolescents and young adulthood. We have no specific age cutoff for a young person to transfer to adult care — instead, we’ll work with your family when you are ready.

Learn more about our pediatric cardiology services.

Our partnership with Children’s Health

PHS has teamed up with Children’s Health to offer you additional support after your baby’s birth. Ranked in pediatric cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Health provides world-class pediatric cardiac care from the moment your baby is born.

Throughout your child’s care, our office, your doctors at Children’s Health and any specialists in the Children’s Health system are on the same medical record. That means your baby’s care will be seamless, with answers at each doctor’s fingertips.

At Children’s Health, your baby is supported by one of the nation’s top programs in neonatology (NICU) and one of the largest dedicated pediatric cardiac intensive care units (CICU). You can rest assured your baby will be in good hands with PHS and Children’s Health.

Learn more about  The Heart Center at Children’s Health: